A Global Toolbox for Corporate Climate Litigation
New Landmark Research Project announced
The British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL) today announces the launch of a landmark new research project on climate litigation within the corporate world. Global Perspectives on Corporate Climate Legal Tactics will produce a toolbox for NGOs, government bodies, local communities, other affected groups and individuals around the world, and those representing them. It aims to trigger a significant impact of international relevance.
More than 2000 climate change litigation cases have been filed globally. Whilst the majority of these cases have been filed against governments, climate change-related cases have also been filed against private actors, particularly against major greenhouse gas emitters such as fossil fuel and cement companies. Althought there is a growing body of work analysing climate litigation from a comparative perspective, analysis of the peculiarities of cases involving corporate players has yet to receive the same rigorous analysis as those against states. This project will seek to redress the balance.
The BIICL project Leader Dr Ivano Alogna commented, 'We believe this project will establish a valuable reference source for policymakers and practitioners exploring the options for climate change litigation involving companies. It will develop legal models to be incorporated into domestic legislation, regulation, contracts and international treaties. It will foster more effective litigation planning and outcomes whilst at the same time allowing corporate actors to make positive changes to mitigate their litigation risks and contribute to combatting climate change.'
The BIICL research team is supported by an international Core Group of some of the most internationally renowned experts from around the world in the field of corporate climate litigation and related areas, drawn from science, the judiciary, legal practice, and academia. Among them:
Nigel Pleming KC, Chairman of the project's Core Group, commented, 'BIICL has the necessary independence and expertise to research, analyse, organise and publish a report bringing together best practices from around the globe. Climate change litigation, particularly when involving non-governmental parties, must be efficient and speedy, with streamlined procedures and effective remedies. It is to be hoped that the legal models identified by BIICL will materially assist countries to ensure that these aims are realised.'d by BIICL will materially assist countries to ensure that these aims are realised.'
Professor Jacqueline Peel, Director of Melbourne Climate Futures, University of Melbourne, added, 'Corporate climate litigation is on the rise globally but the speed of development has meant academic resources have not kept pace. This project, drawing on leading knowledge from experts across the world, will help fill this critical gap.'
Richard Heede, Director of the Climate Accountability Institute, summarised the importance of the project: 'It is essential that jurisprudence and climate law across the globe evolve to inform, manage, allow, and support litigation against corporations increasingly accused of standing athwart efforts to reduce carbon and methane emissions in alignment with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. This Toolbox provides a coherent approach to evolving these issues in various jurisdictions and legal frameworks.'