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Preview: Journal of Environmental Law - current issue

Journal of Environmental Law Current Issue

Published: Mon, 10 Jul 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Last Build Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2017 11:45:04 GMT


Framing and Mapping the Governance Barriers to Energy Upgrades in Flats


It is important for climate change mitigation, and to address fuel poverty, that multi-owned properties (MoPs) containing flats are refurbished with energy and carbon saving technologies (energy upgrades). This article explains how the ownership and management (governance) arrangements of MoPs can limit or inhibit energy upgrades. A building governance framework is adopted to examine the energy efficiency gap in MoPs through two lenses: an organisational lens that focuses on complex decision-making, and a ‘law and technology’ lens that explores the role of title deeds. Although the problem is particularly acute in England and Wales, where flats are sold on a leasehold basis, there is a broader issue whenever there is co-ownership of buildings containing apartments, and policy measures designed to improve energy efficiency in homes must pay particular attention to the complexity created by governance arrangements.

Protecting the Public’s Environmental Right-to-Know: Developments and Challenges in China’s Legislative System for EEID, 2007-2015


Over the course of the past 39 years’ reforms, China has made great strides in economic and social development. However, as a result of this rapid development, China now faces severe environmental problems that have created enormous domestic and international pressures. To confront this crisis, China’s government has enthusiastically promoted the development of an ecological civilisation and the rule of law to address the conflict between economic development and environmental protection. The enterprise environmental information disclosure (EEID) system has consequently become an important link in China’s national environmental governance. Nevertheless, the current system exhibits a range of shortcomings, and recent incidents such as the August 2015 explosion in Tianjin have brought such issues clearly into the public’s focus. This article examines the legislative development of China’s EEID system, the effectiveness of its implementation and the causes of key legislative problems. It argues that a robust system for implementing EEID and bottom-up environmental enforcement mechanisms will help curb China’s environmental degradation.

Integrated Water Resources Management and Reform of Flood Risk Management in England


This analysis relates the global environmental imperative of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) to the policies and regulatory approaches underlying flood risk management in England. Specifically, the discussion engages with selected points of debate between the House of Commons, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee and the Government, arising from the Committee’s 2016 Report on Future Flood Prevention. The Committee and the Government took markedly different positions on the ‘new governance model’ for flood risk management (proposed by the Committee) and the potential for greater use of ‘natural flood management’. This debate is reviewed and contrasted with the positions that might have been reached by applying IWRM to these issues. The opinion offered is that the neglect of water integration is a matter of concern. It is proposed that there should be a duty to have regard to IWRM in water policy and decision-making, and a review of the highly fragmented state of water legislation to identify the scope that exists for greater integration.

ClientEarth (No 2) : A Case of Three Legal Dimensions


This analysis has two main aims. The first is to explore in some detail the recent decision of the Administrative Court in ClientEarth (No 2). Here the central focus will be on drawing out three legal dimensions which it is argued played a significant role in the court’s judgment: an environmental modelling, an EU law and a domestic judicial review dimension. The second aim is then to offer some reflections on the environmental and judicial review dimensions of the case. Here, two main arguments will be developed. Firstly, that while ClientEarth (No 2) does not mark a sea-change in the judicial approach to the scrutiny of environmental modelling processes, it does show that the courts are willing to engage in a higher degree of scrutiny when the legislative background requires it. Secondly, that there are important insights to be gained, both from an administrative and an environmental law perspective, from reflecting on the role that domestic grounds of judicial review played in the court’s legal reasoning this case.

Judicial Dialogue Unpacked: Twenty Years of Preliminary References on Environmental Matters Initiated by the Swedish Judiciary


Judicial dialogue, as enabled through preliminary reference, is a fundamental component of the EU judicial system. It allows the national courts to ask the Court of Justice (ECJ) questions of interpretation and validity of EU acts, thereby helping secure the coherence of EU law, as well as it safeguards judicial protection, especially for individual applicants who otherwise enjoy limited access to the ECJ. The way this dialogue maps out in practice, however, is far from straightforward. Examining preliminary references on environmental matters issued by the Swedish courts over a twenty-year period shows various dialogues taking place—interchanged, gapped, interrupted and silenced—each demonstrating a different response from the national courts in implementing the ECJ’s rulings. This finding raises pressing questions concerning the impact of preliminary rulings in the Member States, the relationship between the national and the EU courts, and whether judicial dialogues are effective guarantors of judicial protection.

Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right . By ARLIE RUSSELL HOCHSCHILD and The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins . By ANNA LOWENHAUPT TSING


Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right. By HochschildArlie Russell [New York: The New Press, 2016, 351 pp, ISBN 978-1-62097-225-0, Hardback, £24.99]

Neither Fish, nor Fowl: Honeybees and the Parameters of Current Legal Frameworks for Animals, Wildlife and Biodiversity


The regulation of animals falls into three main paradigms; animal health, animal welfare and conservation. This article argues that in the modern context there are several regulatory challenges which are not accommodated within those parameters including those presented by contemporary issues such as animal diseases and hybrid and feral animals. A case study of honeybees is used to explore these frameworks and their parameters and limitations in detail. The difficulties arising are not confined to idiosyncratic cases such as honeybees however, but also apply at a broader level. While some of these difficulties might be tackled through incremental changes to existing legislation, a more holistic framework which moves beyond historical assumptions about the nature of animals and their relationship with people therefore, will ultimately be needed.

The Promise and Limits of Private Standards in Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Shipping


This article examines private standards that aim to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in shipping. These have emerged against a backdrop of regulatory inertia and the exclusion of international shipping from the Paris Climate Change Agreement. They are a product of complex governance arrangements and they have addressed areas of market failure that have held back fuel efficiency advances that are made possible by technological innovations. These private standards hold considerable promise but suffer to different degrees from certain weaknesses, notably a lack of transparency, a low level of ambition and concerns about data reliability. This article examines these deficiencies together with the reasons for them, and assesses the role that law could play in addressing them. It argues that the conditions may be present for the mitigation of shipping’s GHG emissions to become a site of ‘hybrid’ governance, combining private standards and state/supra-state law in a productive way.