Research project examining the unique aspects of climate litigation across the corporate world leading to the production of a toolbox for the effective implementation of climate law.
With research from 17 different legal systems, the project will analyse and compare best practices from those jurisdictions and provide recommendations to relevant stakeholders in order to facilitate continuous improvement in the implementation of climate change law. The toolbox will contain an inventory of substantive and procedural provisions relevant to climate change cases, to be used as legal models by policymakers and legal practitioners. It will also act as an authoritative reference point for judges and other adjudicators, leading to more consistent and informed climate change litigation decisions. The ultimate aim of the project is to support and quicken global carbon reduction and the transition to net zero.
More than 2000 climate change litigation cases have been filed globally. Whilst the majority of these cases have been filed against States, climate change-related cases have also been filed against private actors, mostly fossil fuel and cement companies, major greenhouse gas emitters. Whilst 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 cases against states.
Our project, Global Perspectives on Corporate Climate Legal Tactics will provide a repository of the most effective best practices worldwide in terms of substantive and procedural legal tools. It will offer a legal Toolbox for national and international legislators, and an inspiration for corporate actors to raise their climate-related ambitions.
The project team and its network of rapporteurs representing 17 jurisdictions will provide a mapping and comparative analysis of existing cases and will analyse the causes of actions, procedures, and remedies used.
The project will be forward-looking, identifying possible arguments and legal tools to tackle climate change through litigation involving companies. It will develop legal models to be incorporated into domestic legislation, regulation, contracts and international treaties. Combined, this will help litigation planning whilst allowing corporate actors to make positive changes to mitigate their litigation risks and contribute to combatting climate change.
Research team: Dr Ivano Alogna (Project Lead), Prof. Duncan Fairgrieve, Dr Jean-Pierre Gauci, Alina Holzhausen, Aditi Shetye, Lise Smit and Anthony Wenton, British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL).
The research team is supported by a Core Group of experts in corporate climate litigation and related areas, from around the world. These experts are drawn from science, the judiciary, legal practice, and academia.
The following jurisdictions will initially be represented in the project:
On 17 November 2022, the project was formally launched at a webinar on 'Global Perspectives on Corporate Climate Legal Tactics: Developing a Comparative Toolbox for Corporate Climate Litigation.
The webinar discussed both the challenges and the potential of corporate climate litigation as a means to achieve carbon reduction and speed the transition to net zero, and presented the structure, intended use and need for this new comparative law research. Speakers included Ingrid Gubbay, Hausfeld and BIICL, Richard Lord KC, Brick Court Chambers, Prof Dr Jacqueline Peel, University of Melbourne, and Prof Dr Jaap Spier, Former Advocate-General in the Supreme Court of the Netherlands, and University of Stellenbosch.