Legal implications of climate change: the case for circularity

Door : prof. mr. dr. M.A.B. (Monika) Chao-Duivis - 28 november 2019

ESCL Annual Conference 24th of October 2019

The European Society of Construction Law (ESCL) is an ‘umbrella’ organisation for eighteen national construction law societies in Europe. The current member countries are: Austria, Belgium, The Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.  

The longest tradition of ESCL activity has been the Annual Conference, which is hosted by the country of the President of the year in question. At the Conference, technical presentations are made on construction law subjects, both by practitioners and academics from the host nation and invited experts from other member countries. The Conference theme is chosen by the host Society. The Dutch Institute for Construction Law hosted the 2019 Conference in Delft.

Conference 2019: Legal implications of climate change: the case for circularity

Why this theme for the conference? Climate change is upon us. Technical answers to the consequences of climate change are being formulated everywhere. Laws are being written and rewritten to follow suit. The same goes for tender procedures and contracts. New business models are being developed as well: it is argued that a shift is taking place towards service contracts and away from, among others, construction contracts. In this respect property law needs to be changed as well, as is argued in The Netherlands, in order to make it possible that materials are reused ownership of the facade or the roof is put into other hands than the rest of building: buildings are more than just housing facilities but have become forms of urban mining and energy sources.

So many aspects of daily life have to be rethought, redesigned or reshaped and the law cannot and will not stay behind. It is therefore that the annual conference of the European Society of Construction Law (ESCL) was be devoted to the legal implications of climate change, and in particular the legal aspects of a (more) circular economy. Since the presidency took place in the Netherlands, the organisation of the conference decided to take Dutch examples of what is happening in the legal field of circularity as a starting point of discussion (Questionnaire ESCL annual Conference 2019 by M.A.B. Chao-Duivis. The questionnaire and answers from Switzerland and The Netherlands will be published in 2020).  

For background information about the conference theme: