The legal approach for the visions of the future

As discussed in Chapter 2, the problem can be approached using visions A and B, which give two realities for the year 2050. The basis of this approach is essentially socio-economic, focusing on the tension between economic and environmental aspects of the situation. This has been covered in Chapter 9, particularly in the discussion of permits and credit trading, in which there was no attention paid to the fundamental legal questions. However, if policymakers want to develop a climate policy that can be effectively and successfully implemented, there are legal questions that must be addressed. It is these 'missing' legal questions that are discussed in this chapter by answering the following question: what intersectoral legal conditions (in relation to the two theoretical visions, A and B) must be considered if the substantial break with current trends is to be realized? This legal approach essentially consists of three parts:

1. Who? (i.e., the persons/institutions involved)

2. How? (i.e., the instrumental framework)

The legal-normative aspects to be worked out in this context need to be distinguished from the ethical-normative and the moral-normative aspects. The essential difference between the latter two and the legal-normative aspects is that the legal-normative aspects can be enforced legally, which is a pre-condition for a successful climate policy.

Another relevant part of the legal approach is the goal and the function of the legal norms, in other words, the purpose of a norm and the choice of the (legal) instrument that is related to it. It is clear that to establish this type of norm, certain goals have to be reached. This is the instrumental side of the legal approach, through which a direct link can be made with public administration and policy science. When I refer here to 'administration', 'administrative functions' and 'administrative control', I mean 'public administration', 'public administration functions' and 'public administrative control'.

Norms and instruments in the legal context are always related to persons and institutions. These three elements - persons/institutions, instruments and norms - together are the cornerstones for the 'instrumental-normative legal approach', which is the basis of the intersectoral legal discussion.

The legal conditions necessary to break the trend in climate change by the year 2050 are discussed below. But first, we must look at the problem in The Netherlands now and the importance of policy. It is in this context that approaches for the long term must be developed. Then we discuss the instrumental-nor mative legal approach in relation to the problem of reducing greenhouse gases. This begins with a few legal themes or starting points that are essential to clarifying the legal dimensions of the problem. These provide 'checkpoints' for developing a legal perspective of the visions A and B. Next the two visions are discussed in relation to these 'checkpoints'. Each vision is described briefly, the elements of the legal approach for each vision are discussed, and finally, the elements are integrated. We then compare the two visions, based on the legal elements, with possible outcomes projected, after which we link the opinion of the Dutch Minister of Environment on climate change policies on the prospects for the long term. This paper concludes with conclusions and the recommendations.

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