The goal of this project is to mainstream climate and other environmental concerns throughout the global legal community, in both legal research and practice. Climate mainstreaming is an innovative and cross-cutting topic of the utmost societal relevance. Set against the real-life backdrop of the climate emergency, this project seeks to galvanise and unite lawyers from all areas of law under the common objective of guiding, assisting, supporting, and operationalising effective global legal efforts against climate change.
This project highlights, reassesses, and broadens the role of law and responsibility of lawyers in the climate crisis. The law is a powerful, yet ambivalent tool in humanity’s fight against climate change. It can, as it often does at present, amplify and entrench the causes, corporate drivers, and institutional enablers of climate change. But, more importantly, the law can also serve as a vital instrument for global climate governance, by furnishing effective and binding solutions to prevent, mitigate, and manage the climate crisis. For the law to more fully realise its potential as a progressive force in the climate crisis, it is imperative that lawyers of all kinds – not just environmental or climate lawyers – integrate, address, and apply climate issues throughout all levels, fields, institutions, and activities of legal research and practice. Simply put, climate concerns must be mainstreamed in law.
For legal scholarship in particular, this project opens new vistas for cross-cutting and interdisciplinary research at the intersection of environmental/climate law and all other, traditional (“mainstream”) areas of law. Legal scholars serve a crucial bridging role in facilitating the translation of abstract climate goals into concrete legal formulation, implementation, and enforcement. Importantly, they can help furnish the conceptual and doctrinal vocabulary and tools that enable advocates, lawmakers, civil servants, or judges to realise and to operationalise more ambitious climate policies in legal practice. This project extends an invitation to legal researchers around the world to engage with and integrate climate issues within their own areas of legal expertise.