Guiding Environmental Law’s Transformation into Earth System Law Through the Telecoupling Framework

du Toit, Louise, Lopez Porras, Gabriel and Kotze, Louis (2021) Guiding Environmental Law’s Transformation into Earth System Law Through the Telecoupling Framework. European Energy and Environmental Law Review, 30 (3). pp. 104-113. ISSN 0966-1646

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Guiding Environmental Law’s Transformation into Earth System Law Through the Telecoupling Framework
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Abstract

Insights from Earth system science show us that we are crossing over into a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene. Yet, environmental law has failed to integrate these insights and adopt an Earth system perspective, with the result that environmental law has arguably become incapable of responding to the numerous complex, interconnected, and non-linear challenges of an erratic Earth system in the Anthropocene. Earth system law is proposed as a response and is intended to ‘translate’ Earth system science insights into the legal domain, thereby transforming Holocene
nvironmental law and making it more fit for purpose in the Anthropocene. In order to practically explore how this transformation could take place, reliance is placed on the telecoupling framework, which analyses interconnected or coupled human and natural systems over distances. With reference to the mining activities conducted by Canadian
companies in Mexico, the telecoupling framework is revealed as a valuable tool for thinking about environmental law in Earth system terms and enabling one to see a range of deeply intertwined telecoupled issues and considerations that must be taken account of by the law. In turn, this enables one to begin to imagine the types of considerations
that should be incorporated into legal responses in order to adequately respond to the socio-ecological challenges of the Anthropocene.

Keywords:Anthropocene, Earth system, Earth system governance, Earth system law, Earth system science, Environmental law, Socio-ecological systems, Telecoupling
Subjects:M Law > M900 Others in Law
Divisions:College of Social Science > Lincoln Law School
ID Code:46662
Deposited On:05 Oct 2021 11:34

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