Climate change is the central environmental issue currently. It potentially has devastating effects around the globe, with the worst effects likely in the poorest countries. Moreover, the greenhouse gases we emit today will stay in the atmosphere for a long time risking the environment for generations to come. Some argue that to stave off the worst effects, we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 90 percent by 2030. This level of reduction is far beyond what is currently contemplated by the Kyoto Protocol and would require profound changes in our economy and lifestyles. Climate change raises a wide range of issues for law and public policy such as the influence of science on law and policy, the relationship between international agreements and domestic decisions and the role of the courts and other tribunal in setting or constraining policy.
This course has two main objectives:
1. To provide an understanding of the relationship between law, legal institutions (such as courts and tribunals) and policy. We will discuss how law and legal institutions constrain or frame policy decisions and vice versa. The analysis of this relationship will be applicable to all areas of public policy, not just climate change.
2. To provide an understanding of the issues underlying climate change and the choices that lie ahead for Canada.
Source: Syllabus for Fall 2013 below at http://portal.publicpolicy.utoronto.ca/en/Courses/UofT-SPPG/PPG2002-LawEnvironment/Documents/PPG2001H%20-%20Green_Fall2013.pdf (accessed 6 January 2014).