News and events Tilburg University

We contribute to enabling city authorities to promote or enhance climate resilience

Published: 01st July 2021 Last updated: 01st July 2021

On 24 June 2021, the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law, together with the Tilburg Sustainability Center hosted an international workshop in an online format where aim was to critically consider what is required from legal frameworks in order to enable city authorities to promote or enhance climate resilience.

Cities are extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Climate change affects almost every city in the world, and as a result, climate resilience has become an urgent matter in urban political agendas. Responsive and flexible adaptation policies are needed to make cities resilient. In order to develop and implement such policies, cities have to rely on an enabling legal framework. In some instances, specific adaptation law does not exist. Cities therefore have to rely on existing legal and governance instruments to address climate change in different sectors, such as planning and land use management, transport and mobility, building and construction, or environmental management, for instance. The question arises whether the existing instruments and legal frameworks enable city authorities to adequately promote or enhance climate resilience in their areas of jurisdiction, or whether a new or more flexible regulatory framework is needed.

This workshop gathered legal and governance scholars from many corner of Europe, Africa, Australia, United States, Indonesia. The workshop has also included a keynote lecture by Gianluca Crispi (UN Habitat) on the recently launched UN Habitat: Law and Climate Change Toolkit: An Innovative Tool to Support the Implementation of the Paris Agreement at City Level. Many of the presented research works are expected to contribute to a book project that will see press in early 2021. 

The workshop was organized and led by Prof Jonathan Verschuuren (Tilburg University) and  Dr Angela van der Berg (University of The Western Cape, South Africa)