CLIMATE LITIGATION

Cases have been brought around the world using various theories to protect the environment and people from climate change.

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INTERNATIONAL LAW AND POLICY

International laws and policies already exist, and are being introduced, to protect the environment and people from climate change.

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NATIONAL LAW AND POLICY

National laws and policies have a critical role to play in the protection of the environment and people from climate change.

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Welcome to the website of the Climate Law Database, an initiative of the Climate Justice Programme. 

On this site you can find information and documents on many of the legal initiatives that have been brought under various legal theories in national and international forums.

Climate change impacts are already affecting people and the planet. And the science shows it will get far, far worse. The biggest impacts will be on the lives and livelihoods of the poor and developing countries, especially small island states. The biggest culprits are the rich and the developed countries.

Progress has been made: we have international agreements; more resources for scientific research, leading to stronger evidence; some policy advances; a change in industry rhetoric; and a certain increase in public awareness. But all this falls far short of what is needed. At the heart of the problem is the production and use of fossil fuel; and the continuing problems of deforestation and land degradation.

There are laws in place now that can address this. Many kinds of legal action have been taken around the world to enforce the law to combat climate change. A range of national and international legal theories have been invoked by dozens of different organisations, communities and individuals, such as human rights law, constitutional law, emission control regulation, endangered species protection, freedom of information and international legal obligations. Judgments and administrative decisions have begun to come through.

The Climate Justice Programme seeks to encourage enforcement of the law to combat climate change and on this website we aim to provide information and materials on the legal actions we are aware of, and on other aspects of climate change law.

Please contact us if you have any information about climate change cases you think we should know about. Read more on how to submit.