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Climate Law and Environmental Law: Is Conflict Between Them Inevitable?

Woolley, Olivia

Climate Law and Environmental Law: Is Conflict Between Them Inevitable? Thumbnail



Benoit Mayer

Alexander Zahar


Climate law has often been framed as a component of environmental law. Under this conception, environmental law and climate law are mutually supportive endeavours towards sustainable development. Yet, in a growing number of instances, climate action has been shown to undermine the protection of other environmental values, or even the enjoyment of human rights. For instance, hydroelectricity, often embraced as pro-climate, has been promoted as a source of (relatively) clean energy, but hydroelectric dams often have a significant negative impact on human settlements and river ecosystems. In other cases, the UNFCCC regime may be read as ‘giving up’ on some impacts of climate change, possibly in contradiction to certain states obligations on environmental protection. The author asks whether climate law is inevitably on a collision course with environmental law, or whether there exist credible ways to reconcile the objectives and operation of these two regimes.


Woolley, O. (2021). Climate Law and Environmental Law: Is Conflict Between Them Inevitable?. In B. Mayer, & A. Zahar (Eds.), Debating Climate Law (398-411). Cambridge University Press.

Online Publication Date Jun 15, 2021
Publication Date 2021-06
Deposit Date May 10, 2021
Publicly Available Date May 10, 2021
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Pages 398-411
Book Title Debating Climate Law


Accepted Book Chapter (184 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This material has been published in Debating Climate Law edited by Benoit Mayer and Alexander Zahar, This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution or re-use. © Cambridge University Press 2021.

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