Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
About us Faculty of Law Current Affairs Calendar Conferences, symposiums, lectures Archive Takings for Climate Justice and Resilience

International hybrid conference: Takings for Climate Justice and Resilience

From:Th 29-09-2022
Until:Fr 30-09-2022
Where:Van Swinderen Huys, Oude Boteringestraat 19, Groningen, and online
Rethinking Expropriation Law

The Expropriation Expert Group, founded in 2013 as a collaborative effort of the universities of Cape Town, Groningen, and Nijmegen, is organising the sixth international conference of our Rethinking Expropriation Law series.


We are returning to our roots, Groningen in the Netherlands, the place of our first conference, to continue the stimulating intellectual exchange on expropriation law at our previous conferences. In Groningen, we would like to take up the challenge to illuminate what the implications are of expropriation law for the fight against the climate crisis, which expresses itself in phenomena such as global warming, increases in natural disasters and extreme weather events.

The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Sixth Assessment Report makes it very clear that human activity creates the kind of emissions that have caused an unprecedented increase in the earth’s surface temperature, especially over the past one-and-a-half centuries. From such activity, it is especially the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG) that has induced weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe. The imperative to move away from fossil fuels as primary energy sources is a main component of addressing the impending climate change disaster.

At the international law level, this intention is expressed in the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate 2 Change (UNFCCC). The Kyoto Protocol and the 2015 Paris Agreement commitment of states to the overall imperative, and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provided the framework for operationalising the stated intention. At the national level, a host of different strategies is being developed and implemented. These strategies are bound to impact the existing legal and economic status quo. It is in anticipation of such shifts that we wish to examine the role of expropriation as a legal tool to mould social and economic change.

Expropriation is taken in its widest sense (takings) to include both formal expropriations (condemnations) and excessive regulation and other restrictions of property (regulatory takings, constructive expropriations, etc.). In light of increasing global warming the world is certain to see more takings for climate protection. The less effective incentives to climate-proof homes and businesses – such as subsidies – become, the more governments will have to force people to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

However, the boundaries in takings law to such government action for climate protection are mostly unexplored and therefore uncertain. Instead of having each jurisdiction reinvent the wheel, we would like to explore the boundaries to the use of the government’s regulatory police power (to restrict property rights) and its power of eminent domain (to expropriate property) for climate protection at an international conference.

More information

Conference Programme
Call for papers
Biographies and abstracts