Climate Change & Environment
Climate change is one the most pressing global environmental concerns. BIICL is focusing its environmental law research on this field, by pushing the knowledge boundaries on climate change legislation and litigation, through comparative and international law projects, events, publications and training.
Our recent work has included applied research on: climate change litigation, sustainable consumption issues, human rights due diligence for environmental and climate change impacts, and artificial intelligence and climate change, encompassing work at multiple intersecting levels, going from global to local and from local to global.
Building on its research experience in other areas of international law including, but not limited to, the law of the sea, territory and sovereignty, migration, cultural heritage, energy, trade and investment, business and human rights, international treaty-making, implementation and enforcement, BIICL is providing high quality interdisciplinary research promoting increasingly ambitious law and policy in addressing this defining issue of our time.
Global Perspectives on Corporate Climate Legal Tactics
Our current climate change law project, Global Perspectives on Corporate Climate Legal Tactics, is examining the current state of climate litigation against corporations across 17 different jurisdictions: national rapporteurs from each of the target legal systems and have come together at 3 BIICL workshops to discuss and compare outcomes from the perspective of causes of action, procedures and evidence and remedies.
The national reports and the workshop findings form the basis of BIICL's comparative analysis of the international state of play of corporate climate litigation. The project will engage in strategic, prospective and interdisciplinary thinking, identifying possible frameworks, arguments, and legal instruments to tackle climate change; it will also help litigation planning, contribute to more comprehensive and effective climate action, raise public awareness and eventually - as a consequence of its deterrent effect - allow and encourage corporate actors to consider their litigation risks and change business behaviour.
One of the aims of the project is to bring attention to the possibility and complexities involved in litigating against corporate polluters. On 11 May 2023, BIICL held a well-attended public hybrid event on how far corporate climate litigation has come and what obstacles and challenges it faces.
Read the post-event report on our Publications page.
Marc Clément, Presiding Judge at the Administrative Tribunal of Lyon
Prof Michael Gerrard, Director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School
Prof Mathilde Hautereau-Boutonnet, Professor of Private Law and Researcher in Environmental Law at Aix-Marseille University
Dr Joyce Kimutai, Climate scientist at the African Climate & Development Initiative
Prof Qin Tianbao, Luojia Professor of Law and Director of the Research Institute of Environmental Law (RIEL), Wuhan University
Prof Annalisa Savaresi, Associate Professor, Center for Climate Change, Energy and Environmental Law, University of Eastern Finland
The work of Dr Alogna and the Australian Rapporteur team was featured in the June 2023 edition of the Australian Pro Bono Centre's publication, Pro Bono Voco, which celebrates the amazing work done by the pro bono community in Australia.
Research is taking place on the ground in 17 jurisdictions across the world. We have fantastic dedicated academics working on this project to provide the necessary evidence for our toolbox:
In January 2023 Dr Ivano Alogna took part in the 2023 PACEY Awards ceremony. The project Global Perspectives on Corporate Climate Legal Tactics was selected as one of 3 finalists in the Peace, nuclear Abolition and Climate Engaged Youth (PACEY) Award's European project category.
Starting in September 2023 BIICL will offer a new Short Course on Climate Change Litigation. The course will be taught over 8 sessions and will be based around the following topics:
- Global Perspectives on Climate Change Litigation
- International and Transboundary Climate Change Litigation
- Evidentiary and Attribution Science-related Issues in Climate Change Litigation
- Justiciability Issues in Climate Change Litigation
- Climate Change Litigation and Human Rights
- Climate Change Litigation, ESG and Business
- Climate Change Litigation, Product Liability and Sustainable Consumption
- Climate-related Trade and Investment Dispute Resolution
For more information and to register please see our Training pages.