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Climate Change Litigation

Mary Robinson, Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and President of Ireland, has said that climate change is “very likely, the single greatest human rights challenge of the 21st century.”  The consequences of climate change lead to severe loss and damage to people and the environment, having therefore a great impact on human rights (right to life, health, housing and food), especially affecting the most vulnerable populations.

Through careless management of their supply chains, greenhouse gas emissions and other type of pollution, companies’ behaviour can contribute to climate change.  Holding companies and governments legally accountable for these impacts is on the rise.  This page provides useful resources for lawyers working on climate litigation issues.  

A broader approach to this topic can also be found in our Climate Justice section.

Our Resources

Latest News on Climate Litigation

Reports, news articles and commentaries on climate change litigation

Lawsuit Profiles

Case summaries of claims brought against companies over their impact on climate change.

Legal Briefing on Climate Litigation

Overview of the specific legal arguments used to hold companies accountable for climate harms.

2018 Annual Briefing on Climate Change Lawsuits

In-depth analysis of climate change lawsuits and of the opportunities and challenges for bringing such litigation.

Expert Workshop Report: "Climate Change & International Human Rights Law: The Challenges for Business"

Summary of expert discussions organised by the Resource Centre and the University of Notre Dame Law School.

Climate Justice Portal

Resources on Climate Justice.

Lawsuits database

Search for lawsuits against companies related to climate change on our lawsuit database by using search terms (i.e. "climate change").

Once on the database, filter for instance by company, sector, location of incident or filing or key issues raised in the case.

Helpful Websites

The websites below contain legally relevant resources including scientific reports, legal briefs and submissions, databases of lawsuits or laws related to climate change, legal strategies and various tools for climate change litigation.

The Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

The Sabin Center develops legal techniques to fight climate change, its website contains various resources linked to it including publications, legal briefs and submissions and climate change litigation databases.

The Union of Concerned Scientists Science Hub for Climate Litigation

The Science Hub for Climate Litigation works to build greater capacity within the scientific community to conduct and communicate legally relevant research. Its website includes general science resources for climate litigation and UCS-led science.

Action4Justice

Action4Justice provides a toolkit on how to bring a case to court relating to climate change which includes "how to" guides (manuals, toolkits), templates and examples, legal references, legal research sources and legal citations.