Climate crisis and the law: the rise of climate litigation

Thursday 3 November 2022

As November’s COP27 environmental conference focuses minds on the climate crisis, Global Insight examines the tools available within the law to effect change and accountability.

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in climate litigation worldwide as claimants seek to hold both governments and corporate actors to account for how their actions – or inactions – are contributing to the climate crisis. Cases have focused on a variety of human rights concerns and areas including energy transition, emissions reductions and protecting biodiversity.

In this podcast, IBA Global Insight assesses the trends in climate litigation and looks at its potential long-term impact.

Shedding light on these issues are:

  • Lucy Maxwell is co-director of the Climate Litigation Network, a project by the Urgenda Foundation. She describes the key climate litigation trends we are witnessing.
  • David Barnden, Principal Lawyer at Equity Generation Lawyers, acted on behalf of a group of eight students who in 2020 challenged the right of the-then Australian Minister for the Environment to approve a coal mine extension project in New South Wales, in the Sharma case.
  • Jessica Wentz, non-resident senior fellow at the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, assesses the potential impact of climate litigation in the longer term.

Image credit: freshidea/