This workshop, held on Oct. 17, 2008, was an attempt to bring this scholarship together for a wider dissemination of work, and to also examine areas for future scholarship and collaboration. The workshop had sharing of information on research and projects, and also provided a forum to consider the bigger picture of climate change adaptation law, including inquiry into where adaptation regimes are needed, i.e. banking, insurance, public health, disaster response, water; and with what principles should policy proposals for alteration of existing legal regimes be determined, i.e. equity, benefit-cost analysis, precautionary principle, etc.
Climate change is not only an accepted scientific fact, all evidence points towards comprehensive federal regulation of CO2 as well as a post-Kyoto, world-wide regime. Much of the legal attention with respect to climate change has been focused, appropriately, on these efforts at mitigating and slowing the ongoing addition of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. There has been much less legal attention paid to the legal and regulatory regimes that should govern adaptation in a climate-changed world.
Several U.S. environmental law and natural resource scholars have begun examining how and whether domestic resource legal regimes, such as the ESA or water allocations, should respond to changing climate. There has also been recent examination of the effect of climate change on public health and certain business regulatory environments. Attention has recently focused on various types of compensation schemes.
We hope that addressing these questions can assist scholars, policy makers, and political entities with beginning the systematic analysis of proposals for new climate change adaptation regimes.