Governmental responsibility for adaptation to climate change
PhD student: Dr H.K. Gilissen
Promotor: Prof B.J. Schueler
Duration: 1/12/2008 - 30/11/2012
PhD defence: Utrecht, 8/11/2013
The research is concerned with the governmental responsibility for adaptation to climate change. Adaptation to climate change is a possible reaction to climate change, which states that adaptation measures should be taken to reduce the risk and vulnerability of social and natural sectors against the adverse effects of climate change. The research mainly aims at adaptation measures in the Dutch water sector. At first, it will be researched which governmental reseponsibilities as to take adaptation measures stem from international, European and national law. From this could be made clear which measures could reasonably be expected. In addition, the research aims at answering the question to what extent governments could be held liable for damages resulting from failing to take adequate adaptation measures (unlawfullness). The research also aims at the question to what extent governments could be held liable for damages resulting from their lawful measures. An important question concerns the influence of uncertainty of the concrete adverse effects of climate change on criteria for fixing liability (mainly normal social risk), and on criteria for calculating the ammount of damages that have to be paid (foreseeability, own risk, obliagions to limit damage). Within the framework of liability (both lawfull and unlawfull acting), the practical influence of liability law on governmental acting and decision making concerning adaptation will be researched, inter alia by virtue of case studies. Different functions of liability law will be discussed. Finally, the research aims at the question to what extent costs of adaptation measures could be recovered from the benefittors of those measures.