Climate Takings: The Tensions Between Private Property and the Need to Adapt to Environmental Change

How policy interacts with property rights

One consequence of climate change is increased tensions between regulations aimed at protecting the environment and private property. For example, reductions of water rights to maintain minimum flows in rivers and streams may trigger an agency’s obligation to compensate the holder of the water rights. Similar issues can arise with regulations that require landowners to modify their property to make it more suitable as habitat for endangered species.

Through a comprehensive analysis of relevant legal scholarship, court decisions, and case studies, Institute Research Fellow Luis Inaraja Vera will study how courts have addressed challenges to existing regulations and the constitutional and legal barriers associated with implementing new legislative and regulatory amendments to address climate-related impacts on the environment.

The findings will highlight how courts evaluate claims for compensation and potential mechanisms to minimize conflicts between property owners, agencies, and the public in cases where the impact of regulation on landowners is heightened by environmental change.