Strategic litigation on climate change in Europe

Background

    Strategic litigation and shareholder/investor activism to advance outcomes on climate change policy are growing globally. Over the last decade, many court cases have been brought in countries such as the United States and Australia to try to stop greenhouse gas emissions from coal; to improve air quality; and to reduce the carbon footprint of corporations. There have also been efforts to spur corporate action in these jurisdictions through shareholder activism, improved company disclosure practices and a growing divestment movement. However, in contrast, strategic climate litigation and activism in Europe has been narrower in focus and less prevalent.
    This project evaluates the impacts of a new targeted program of climate litigation and associated shareholder/investor activism, which has been funded by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and is being implemented by the public interest environmental law NGO ClientEarth, based in the United Kingdom. The ClientEarth program aims to accelerate the transition to low-carbon living in Europe by reducing emissions from existing coal plants, improving air quality and reducing emissions from the corporate sector. Using social science evaluation methodologies, the research team will generate an evidence base for evaluating the impact of this litigation and associated shareholder/investor activism.

Researchers

Learn more about the broader program of strategic climate litigation