New legal journal "Klima und Recht"

2022-02-07 Climate law encompasses questions as diverse as: What implementation measures do the Paris climate goals require in the multi-level system? What does the protection of fundamental rights mean for future generations? How can conflicts in the expansion of renewable energies be resolved? Now, the first legal journal dedicated exclusively to this comprehensive subject area has been launched. "Klima und Recht" has been published since this year by the renowned specialist publisher C.H. Beck. One of the co-editors is Jelena Bäumler, Professor of Public Law and International Law with a focus on sustainability. In this interview, she talks about the process of the journal's creation, its contents, and its goal.

Which gap in the literature will be filled with the foundation of the new journal?
International climate agreements, national climate laws and numerous spectacular climate lawsuits before international and national courts have led to a new relevance of the topic of climate in law. Like environmental law, climate law is a cross-cutting issue that affects a large number of legal fields and raises an unmanageable number of legal questions. The implementation of the Paris climate goals affects all areas of social life and thus all areas of law, i.e. international law, European law, national public law, civil law and possibly even criminal law, if we think, for example, about a new international criminal offense of ecocide, which would possibly also cover massive climate damage. The journal brings all of these issues together in one place, adding this important area to the journal landscape.
What are the areas behind the legal field of "climate law"?
Climate law thinks about issues from the perspective of the challenges of climate change and climate change mitigation, and is not limited to any particular area of law. Some issues will, of course, be addressed from the perspective of a particular legal issue, but we are open to contributions from all areas of law. In addition, we welcome contributions from other disciplines, such as philosophy, natural sciences, economics or political science, where another perspective on climate change and climate protection issues is provided.
Do you have an example of a current climate law debate?
The climate law debates are many and varied: take, for example, the Fit for 55 package to implement the European Union's Green Deal and climate targets, taxonomy, burden sharing in building retrofits, privileged market access for climate-friendly products in free trade agreements, the conflict with nature conservation or other considerations in the expansion of renewable energy. The goal may be relatively clear - 2 degrees, better still 1.5 degrees - but the ways to get there are often controversial and require social and legal discourse. Only through intensive debate can we ensure that the climate targets are not implemented bypassing society, that the social issue is sufficiently taken into account, and that the legal framework is observed in the design.
What is the objective of the journal?
The objective of the journal is to broadly anchor, receive, and address the challenge of climate change in the legal sciences. Each discipline makes a different contribution. Law sets the framework for the legally permissible implementation of climate measures, for example with regard to international law or fundamental and human rights considerations or conflicts of objectives between different laws. These framework conditions must be illuminated, contextualized and also critically scrutinized in order to possibly initiate necessary changes.
What would be a good target state for the journal in five years?
We hope that the journal Klima und Recht will provide access to legal issues in climate law in one place for professional colleagues and a broad readership. Here, the journal sees itself as spearheading research in the field of climate and law, and hopefully it can live up to these aspirations in the coming years to become a permanent fixture in the legal journal landscape.

Further information

The legal journal Klima und Recht (KlimR) appears monthly and is published in cooperation with the Institute for Climate Protection, Energy and Mobility (IKEM). The first issue was published on January 15, 2022.

Bäumler has been a professor of public law and international law with a focus on sustainability at the Institute for Sustainability Governance since July 2019. She is a member of the Senate, the Senate Commission on Development and Economic Planning, and director at the Institute for European Integration/Europa-Kolleg Hamburg. In addition, Bäumler is program officer for the Erasmus Mundus Master International Law of Global Security, Peace and Development.


  • Prof. Dr. Jelena Bäumler