According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the number of climate-related cases nearly doubled between 2017 and 2020, with about 1,550 climate change cases being filed in 38 countries. Some cases, such as the Dutch Urgenda case or the constitutional case filed by German youths against the government, have inspired other similar cases, such as a case filed by youths in Australia. In 2022, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN’s body for assessing the science related to climate change, published a report on the global assessment of climate change mitigation. The report notes that “[t]he vast majority of climate cases have emerged in United States, Australia and Europe, and more recently in developing countries.” (Report, at 1375.) Furthermore, it states that
“climate litigation is another important arena for various actors to confront and interact over how climate change should be governed (robust evidence, high agreement) […]. Climate litigation is an attempt to control, order or influence the behaviour of others in relation to climate governance, and it has been used by a wide variety of litigants (governments, private actors, civil society and individuals) at multiple scales (local, regional, national and international).” (Report, at 1375.)
Please join us on July 27, 2023, at 2 p.m. EDT for our next foreign, comparative, and international law webinar titled, “Climate Change Litigation in Europe and Australia.” This webinar is the latest installment in the Law Library’s series of webinars focused on foreign and comparative law. It will discuss the context for and types of climate change cases being litigated in Europe and Australia and give examples of major cases, including cases against governments and corporations for the impacts of climate change. Similarities and differences between the jurisdictions will be highlighted.
Please register here.
The webinar will be presented by Kelly Buchanan, chief of the Foreign, Comparative, and International Law Division II, and Jenny Gesley, foreign law specialist in the Global Legal Research Directorate of the Law Library of Congress. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Laws with Honours and a B.A. in social policy from Victoria University of Wellington. She is qualified to practice law in New Zealand. Jenny holds a Master of Laws from the University of Minnesota Law School, a Juris Doctor equivalent from the Goethe University of Frankfurt, Germany, and a doctorate in law. Her doctoral dissertation on “Financial Market Supervision in the United States: National Developments and International Standards” (in German) was awarded the Baker & McKenzie Award in 2015. Dr. Gesley is admitted to the New York State bar and is qualified to practice law in Germany.
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