Up Close:

Litigating the Climate Emergency

An emerging strategy takes on the immediate and future costs of the climate crisis by invoking human rights, connecting climate change litigation to tangible effects on people’s lives.

People around the world, from indigenous activists to students, continue to demand that governments and industries address the causes and consequences of global heating. One emerging strategy seeks to connect the scientific and legal arguments of climate change activism with the tangible harms facing communities. This Up Close series delves into key cases that highlight the considerable usefulness and potential—but also the limitations and the blind spots—of this approach, offering examples of how human rights might best be leveraged in responding to the climate emergency.

 

 

 

Climate litigation and human rights: averting the next global crisis

By: César Rodríguez-Garavito
Español

OGR's newest series explores a rising wave of lawsuits that is laying bare the profound impacts that a warming planet has on basic human rights and future generations.

Thinking strategically about climate litigation

By: Ben Batros & Tessa Khan
Español

Climate litigators can learn from human rights actors on how and when to use litigation strategically to create systemic change.

Climate litigation through an equality lens

By: James A. Goldston
Español

Applying an equality lens to climate litigation is not just the right thing to do; it’s also more effective.

Climate science in rights-based advocacy contexts

By: Michael Burger & Jessica Wentz & Daniel Metzger
Español

The science showing causal links between climate change, country emissions, and individual harms is a critical component in human rights litigation on climate change.

Why ideas and identity matter in climate change litigation

By: Lisa Vanhala
Español

Existing research on climate change litigation ignores questions about who is mobilizing the law to address the climate crisis. But who isn’t turning to the courts ...

Are matters of national survival related to climate change really beyond a court’s power?

By: Sophie Marjanac & Sam Hunter Jones
Español

Courts can adjudicate the effectiveness of emissions reduction policies in protecting fundamental rights without encroaching on the powers of the political branches ...

Judges within their powers: determining the lower limit for countries’ climate action

By: Dennis van Berkel
Español

Are courts able to determine that a government’s climate change policy is insufficient and order governments to do more?

Litigation to challenge large extractive projects is gaining traction in Africa

By: Pooven Moodley
Español

Communities in Africa are increasingly using litigation to challenge large extractive projects that exacerbate the climate emergency and loss of biodiversity.

The promises and challenges of climate change litigation in India

By: Arpitha Kodiveri
Español

As India surges forward with an aggressive development agenda, the judiciary’s involvement in climate change litigation is viewed by many as an obstacle to speedy ...

The farmer or the hero litigator? Modes of climate litigation in the global South

By: Jolene Lin & Jacqueline Peel
Español

Climate litigation shows that the global South experience is a rich and powerful one that offers many opportunities for multi-directional learning.