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date: 17 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the relationship between environmental law and private law. It first explains what private law is before discussing two aspects of the relationship between environmental law and private law: private law as environmental law and environmental law in private law. The chapter shows how private law can act as environmental law in three distinct ways: it can facilitate agreements protective of the environment, grant rights to prevent or to demand compensation for environmental harm, and refuse to facilitate agreements that harm the environment. Actionable damage, conditions of liability, causation, remedies, particular problems of climate change litigation, and refusal to enforce environmentally damaging agreements are also discussed. The chapter concludes with an analysis of two dimensions of environmental law in private law: environmental crimes as the basis of private law actions and environmental regulatory compliance as a defence in private law actions.

Keywords: comparative environmental law, climate change, law, relationship between private law and environmental law, illegal contracts

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