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A Short History of Climate Adaptation Law in Australia


McDonald, J, A Short History of Climate Adaptation Law in Australia, Climate Law, 4, (1-2) pp. 150-167. ISSN 1878-6553 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 Brill Academic Publishers

DOI: doi:10.1163/18786561-00402013


This article reviews Australia’s experience with adaptation law. While climate change is likely to implicate a number of regulatory domains, most adaptation reform has been in the field of spatial and land use planning. These reforms have been influenced by the institutional, political and fiscal context for spatial planning. Traditional planning tools such as zoning, set-backs, and building standards have been modified to address the exacerbating effects of climate change. A preference for market-based autonomous adaptation has seen increased interest in information instruments and limited experimentation with conditional approvals. Three themes characterise Australia’s brief history of adaptation and are likely to affect its development: the need for trade-offs between competing interests; the relationship between law-making and climate science; and the complexity and fragmentation of roles and responsibilities for adaptation. These challenges have pervaded environmental law for decades. The adaptation imperative is an important opportunity to rethink and reframe their resolution.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:climate adaptation law- Australia
Research Division:Law and Legal Studies
Research Group:Environmental and resources law
Research Field:Environmental law
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Environmental policy, legislation and standards
Objective Field:Environmental policy, legislation and standards not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:McDonald, J (Professor Jan McDonald)
ID Code:94275
Year Published:2014
Deposited By:Faculty of Law
Deposited On:2014-09-04
Last Modified:2015-05-12

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