Implications of climate change for Western concepts of ownership

Australian case study

Vanessa Johnston, Ben France-Hudson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This article considers what Australian responses to climate change
may teach us about the concept of ownership. Through a close
analysis of laws aimed at encouraging specific land uses in order to
mitigate emissions, it argues that these laws support the increasingly
uncontroversial claim that ownership of estates or interests in land
places obligations and responsibilities on owners to exercise the
resulting rights for the benefit of others. However, although land
ownership is flexible enough to support the environmental objectives
of these laws, their failure to adequately accommodate the
practicalities of ownership, such as anticipating the position of
successors in title, increases the risk of conflict between owners of
estates and interests in land, and compromises the ability of both
environmental and property law regimes to achieve their intended
objectives
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)869-898
Number of pages30
JournalUniversity of New South Wales Law Journal
Volume42
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • real property law
  • Australia
  • climate change
  • ownership

Cite this

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Implications of climate change for Western concepts of ownership : Australian case study. / Johnston, Vanessa; France-Hudson, Ben.

In: University of New South Wales Law Journal, Vol. 42, No. 3, 2019, p. 869-898.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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AB - This article considers what Australian responses to climate changemay teach us about the concept of ownership. Through a closeanalysis of laws aimed at encouraging specific land uses in order tomitigate emissions, it argues that these laws support the increasinglyuncontroversial claim that ownership of estates or interests in landplaces obligations and responsibilities on owners to exercise theresulting rights for the benefit of others. However, although landownership is flexible enough to support the environmental objectivesof these laws, their failure to adequately accommodate thepracticalities of ownership, such as anticipating the position ofsuccessors in title, increases the risk of conflict between owners ofestates and interests in land, and compromises the ability of bothenvironmental and property law regimes to achieve their intendedobjectives

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