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Keywords:

  • climate change;
  • risk regulation;
  • governance;
  • eu law;
  • environmental law

This article argues that the ascent of climate change on the EU regulatory agenda signals a new era of risk regulation and calls for the establishment of a new paradigm for risk regulation. Climate change is altering the EU's conception of environmental risks and its design of regulatory responses. In contrast to conventional risk regulation, climate change regulation must prioritise the risks of business-as-usual over the risks of change, must target systemic change instead of stability, and must favour the virtues of integration and orchestration over those of individualisation and compartmentalisation. There is an important role for risk regulation scholarship to analyse this shift and its consequences for regulation, such as the relocation of legitimacy needs and the emergence of new risks of regulatory failure. Such an enterprise would both reinvigorate risk regulation scholarship and offer a vital contribution to the European Union as it tackles the momentous challenge of climate change governance.