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Governing intersystemic systemic risks: lessons from Covid and climate change

Heyvaert, Veerle (2022) Governing intersystemic systemic risks: lessons from Covid and climate change. Modern Law Review. ISSN 0026-7961

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Identification Number: 10.1111/1468-2230.12720


This article argues that contemporary regulation of climate change risks and zoonotic disease risks – two seminal risks of our era – is deficient because it fails to account for the most distinctive characteristics of their risk profiles. These risks are part of a special category of intersystemic systemic risks, which are ‘compound’ in nature: they possess the potential to cascade across different systems and entail a liability to exponential growth across numbers of linked systems. Moreover, climate change and zoonotic disease risks are globalised, ubiquitous and entrenched. Effective governance of intersystemic systemic risks demands proactive regulatory intervention at the early stages of risk creation, and reliance on a more balanced basket of regulatory measures than is currently available. For climate change as well as zoonotic disease risk control, this calls for greater investment in assessment requirements, a less permissive approach to planning and development consent, and a commitment to phase out unsustainable production processes.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Author
Divisions: Law
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2022 17:54
Last Modified: 26 May 2022 08:45

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