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The Law of Adaptation to Climate Change: United States and International Aspects

ABA_book_imageThe American Bar Association has just published The Law of Adaptation to Climate Change: United States and International Aspects. This massive volume (just under 900 pages), edited by Michael B. Gerrard and Katrina Fischer Kuh, has twenty-five chapters covering the landscape of legal issues regarding climate change adaptation. Here’s the publisher’s description:

The laws that attempt to reduce climate change are well known. But what about laws to deal with the climate change that will occur regardless of these efforts? The Law of Adaptation to Climate Change takes a sweeping look at the current and proposed legal aspects of coping with climate change – from drought, extreme precipitation, heat waves, and wild fires to global shifts in temperature, sea level, water and food supply, coastal conditions, infrastructure, ecosystems, and human health and economies. Applicable laws exist at all levels (international, national, state, local) and in different forms (constitutions, statutes, agency regulations, judicial decisions, private agreements, voluntary guidelines); they are not only uncoordinated but collectively embody numerous contradictions and inevitable gaps. 

This state-of-the-art compendium examines how laws are being modified, finessed, or imagined to deal with the impacts of climate change, both in the United States and around the globe. Chapter authors have significant experience in the legal aspects of climate change and are drawn from private practice, government, and academia. When it is not known how the law will, or even should, respond, these authorities suggest informed possibilities for future action. 

Ben Houston (a former student from the University of Michigan Law School) and I co-authored the chapter on “Managing Demand for Water.” Here’s the full list of chapters (a detailed summary of contents is also available online): 

Part I: Introduction

1.  Introduction and overview -- Michael B. Gerrard, Columbia Law School

2.  Adaptive management -- Robert Fischman and Jillian R. Rountree, Indiana University Maurer School of Law 

Part II: U.S. Aspects

3.  Managing water supplies -- Robert W. Adler, University of Utah, S.J. Quinney College of Law

4. Managing demand for water -- Benjamin Houston and Noah D. Hall, Wayne State University Law School

5. Energy system impacts -- Robin Kundis Craig, University of Utah School of Law

6.  Infrastructure -- Gregory E. Wannier, Columbia Center for Climate Change Law

7.  Buildings -- J. Cullen Howe, Arnold & Porter LLP

8.  Protecting the Coast -- Robert R.M. Verchick, Loyola University New Orleans, and Joel D. Scheraga, EPA

9.  Coastal retreat measures -- J. Peter Byrne and Jessica Grannis, Georgetown Law School

10.  Species and ecosystem impacts -- Patrick Parenteau, Vermont Law School

11.  Agricultural and forestry -- Debra L. Donahue, Wyoming Law School

12.  Governance of public lands, public agencies and natural resources -- Robert L. Glicksman, George Washington University Law School

13.  Domestic disaster preparedness and response -- Victor B. Flatt, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Law School

14.  Insurance -- Sean Hecht, UCLA Law School

15.  Impact review, disclosure, planning -- Katrina Fischer Kuh, Maurice A. Deane School of Law, Hofstra University

16.  State and Local Adaptation -- Vicki Arroyo and Terri Cruce, Georgetown Law School

Part III: International Aspects

17.  International legal framework for adaptation -- David Freestone, George Washington University Law School

18.  Financing of adaptation measures -- Deepa Badrinerayana, Chapman University School of Law

19.  Global health and disaster preparedness -- Lindsay F. Wiley, Washington College of Law, American University

20.  Population displacement, relocation and migration -- Michelle Leighton, American University of Central Asia

21. Maritime jurisdiction in a changing climate -- Kate Purcell, University of Cambridge

22.  International water law and adaptation -- A. Dan Tarlock, Chicago-Kent College of Law

23. Food security, fisheries, and ecosystems -- Cinnamon Pinon Carlarne, Michael E. Moritz College of Law, Ohio State University, and Josh Eagle, University of South Carolina Law School

24. Legal rights and remedies -- Maxine Burkett, William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawai'i

25. Human security and military preparedness -- Linda Malone, William and Mary Law School