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Climate Change Mitigation and Adaption

The Budget Approach in Climate Protection Law - The Management Concept of Transformation

Frerk Meiners - University of Bremen, Prof. C. Franzius

The changes in climatic conditions caused by anthropogenic climate change represent one of the central challenges of this century. In this context, there has been a long-term realization at the political level that, in accordance with Art. 2 p. 1 UNFCCC, a stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere must be achieved in order to prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.
Climate protection law has responded to this situation and established the necessary structures in the multi-level system in a lengthy process. In this process, the idea of using normative greenhouse gas budgets as instruments of climate protection law is gaining in importance. At the same time, the realization is gaining ground that the mere reduction of greenhouse gases is not enough, but that a holistic transformation to a climate-neutral way of life is required.

Against this background, the work is based on the premise that the budget approach in climate protection law is the management concept of transformation and that it has a key role to play. In order to elaborate this idea, the first part of the paper traces the development of normative greenhouse gas budgets, which mark the cornerstone for a management law approach. However, the objection raised against these transformation approaches is that their level of ambition is not sufficient to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement. This fact is taken up not least in the climate decision of the Federal Constitutional Court. The second part of this paper is dedicated to an analysis of the legal requirements to which the normative greenhouse gas budgets are subject. Finally, the question of which normative properties characterize the management concept of transformations with regard to normative greenhouse gas budgets will be examined.

The aim of this paper is - de lege lata - to highlight the legal foundations and requirements for the transformation management concept, with a particular focus on the normative greenhouse gas budgets.

Climate Change Adaptation Law in Federal State

Tim Heidler - University of Greifswald, Prof. S. Schlacke     

Increasing species extinction, more frequent extreme weather events, declining groundwater levels, etc. The effects of climate change are already being noticed in the present. Furthermore, climate science predicts that the impacts will increase in their duration, frequency and intensity in the future. Even if the 1.5-degree or 2-degree target is met, noticeable changes will occur. Therefore, climate protection measures alone will not be able to avert the changes and consequences completely. Consequently, it is a social task to adapt to the new living conditions and to take preliminary protective measures. Examples include the expansion of flood protection systems or the creation of open-air corridors.

A legal problem is that the subject of climate change adaptation has received only isolated normative regulations. However, there have been recent new legislative activities – particularly in the Federal Republic of Germany. They raise various legal questions.

The work focuses on the laws of the federation and the states. They will be analysed and evaluated. Further the thesis elucidates basic legal questions of adaptation. Finally, the formulation of normative improvements completes the work.

The normative control of the balance of interests to accelerate climate protection projects

Julius Pfeuffer - Leipzig University, Prof. K. Faßbender

Land is a limited resource. In principle, every piece of land on our planet is only available for one use. With every decision in favour of or against a change in land use, we make adjustments that can result in unexpected changes, but also new development potential. In order to establish appropriate usage conditions, legislators sometimes delegate room for manoeuvre to the authorities and courts when balancing legal interests in individual cases. However, the study is based on the hypothesis that this type of decision-making is perceived as too time-consuming, especially in the case of the clean energy transition, in order to tackle the “poly-crisis” and to reach the renew-able energy targets in time.

For this reason, the research project "The normative control of the balance of interests to accelerate climate protection projects" examines how legislators are attempt-ing to speed up the development towards a sustainable and greenhouse gas-neutral electricity supply by restricting administrative judgement decisions. Based on the re-cent finding that the massive roll-out of renewable energies is increasingly colliding with the protection and preservation interests of environmental protection laws, the focus of the analysis is on legislation that introduces a binding ‘overriding public inter-est’ in renewable energies for all areas of law and thus at the same time establishes a strict weighting requirement for balancing up legal interests.

The PhD thesis analyses the interaction of these legal upgrades of individual interests in the multi-level system and classifies them in the existing balancing dogmatic. Building on this, it discusses their practical effects on the permitting process and at the same time identifies the need for legal improvements in order to better resolve the existing and expected future tension between environmental and climate protection interests.


Policy planning law as an instrument of sustainability transformation – An analysis using the example of the legal policy planning of climate protection, climate adaptation and nature conservation

Marvin Neubauer - UFZ, Dr. Moritz Reese

The sustainability transformation is a complex matter. It involves numerous state and non-state actors and extends over a long period of time. The process is in constant interaction with other megatrends, such as digitalization or power shifts at the international level, as well as acute political or economic crises, such as gas shortages. If policymakers want to drive forward the sustainability transformation, they require an overarching plan for coherent action in such a complicated situation and over a period of 10, 20 or 30 years. The legal framework that produces such plans and regulates their implementation is known as policy planning law. The Federal Climate Change Act (KSG) is the most prominent example of a policy planning law. It includes greenhouse gas reduction pathways, climate protection and immediate action programs, an expert council responsible for monitoring planning, and a consideration requirement. In addition, the Federal Climate Adaptation Law (KAnG) is a policy planning law in the field of climate change adaptation. It will soon be followed by climate change adaptation laws and strategies at the state level. The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) and the EU's Nature Restoration Law are also examples of policy planning efforts in biodiversity conservation. In the light of recent developments in climate protection, climate adaptation and biodiversity protection, the PhD project examines the legal instrument of policy planning law. What are its mandatory and optional features? What specific functions does this instrument fulfill for the sustainability transformation? Through which mechanisms does it produce its effects? And what conflicts of interest and legal issues arise in its design? Based on the reference areas of policy planning legislation on climate protection, climate adaptation and biodiversity conservation, as well as related case law and dogmatics, the paper discusses the fundamental structures and problems of legal policy planning from a governance perspective. Additionally, it identifies and discusses overarching legal issues of policy planning law to contribute to a general dogmatics of policy planning law.