Climate change poses unprecedented challenges. Rising global temperatures are causing more frequent severe weather events, including wildfires and floods, capable of massive disruption that sweeps away homes and takes lives.

While campaigners have taken to the streets advocating for companies and governments to address climate change, lawyers are setting new legal precedent on climate cases.

They argue that the effects of climate change are eroding fundamental human rights and freedoms. Adequate food and water, livelihoods, housing and human life are at stake.

No silver bullet

Although there is “no silver litigation bullet for climate change”, as Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University in New York puts it, these cases show that the strike of a gavel can keep planes on the ground, stop deforestation, and lower CO2 emissions.
Recent years have seen fresh attempts—some more successful than others—to further the climate agenda in courtrooms around the world. This issue of our newsletter highlights examples of litigation in this area.

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