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A  web·guide to sustainable development, conservation & the glocal environment

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Climate change hub > Approaches >

Contents below:

     · Legal information & initiatives

         · Law institutions

           · Select readings in climate change law

Also see:

     · Environmental law page

       · the International climate cooperation, negotiations & diplomacy page and its subpage on

         Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), which are legally implemented at the domestic level.

Legal information & initiatives

Climate Change Laws of the World

     · Database hosted by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment

       and powered by Climate Policy Radar

Climate Law Teaching Resources

     · Provides syllabi & simulation materials

Energy in Depth (EID)

   · "a research program of the Independent Petroleum Association of America... Energy In Depth – Climate and

     Environment, is focused on getting the facts out about the coordinated effort to bring frivolous lawsuits

     against oil and gas producers for climate related concerns."

Legal actions @ Our Children's Trust

People's Climate Case

Urgenda Climate Case


Law institutions

Climate Defense Project

Global Climate Legal Defense (CliDef)

Law Students for Climate Accountability

Parliamentarians for a Fossil-Free Future

Plan B

Sabine Center for Climate Change Law


Select readings in climate change law

     · In reverse chronological order

The Campaign to Make Ecocide an International Crime: Quixotic Quest or Moral Imperative?

     · 2019-Anastacia Greene-Fordham Environmental Law Review

     · This article focuses on international enforcement of law regarding environmental destruction.

     · Even though ecocide has yet to declared a crime against peace as some have advocated, “In 2016,

       the Office of the ICC Prosecutor said that it would prioritize crimes for prosecution that had resulted

       in environmental destruction, exploitation of natural resources or illegal dispossession of land.”

International Climate Change Law

     · 2017, Daniel Bodansky, Jutta Brunnée, Lavanya Rajamani ~ Oxford University Press

     · Surveys the precedent of climate law included detailing the UNFCCC and other relevant UN agreements

     · Presents tools and techniques in order to provide a guideline for future treaties and lawmaking

     · Includes sources and key principles of climate and environmental law

Criminal Prosecution for Environmental Lawbreakers: A Statute with No Bite

     · 2017-Christiana M. Russo-Villanova Environmental Law Journal

     · This article both discusses and criticizes American enforcement of environmental criminal statutes.

     · Environmental crimes have a heavy penalty on paper as they are a civil and criminal offense but

       this article calls for reform and careful prosecution of environmental crimes in order to maximize

       the penalties of law-breaking.

Juliana v. United States of America Order Denying Motion to Dismiss

     · 2016 ~ Judge Thomas M. Coffin ~ United States District Court for the District of Oregon

     · This case was brought in 2015 by a group of young climate activists who are suing the United

       States government for failing to protect the environment.

     · In July of 2020, the case was dismissed by an appeals court, but the plaintiffs are attempting to

       appeal to the Supreme Court to continue the case.

International Courts and Climate Change: 'Progression', 'Regression' and 'Administration' In the Wilds of Climate Law

     · 2010-Tim Stephens-Australian Academic Press

     · From In the Wilds of Climate Law, this essay talks about the emerging field of Climate law and it's future potential.

     · The chapter focuses on climate law in Australia, but also covers international climate law for a broader audience.

In the Wilds of Climate Law

     · 2010-Rosemary Lyster-Australian Academic Press

     · This is edited volume contains 12 chapters on topics of climate law

     · Although published and in Australia, most of the chapters and articles focus on the United States

       or take an international view of the topic.

The European Union as a Leader in International Climate Change Politics

     · 2010, Joyeeta Gupta, Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews

     · Emphasizes the role of the European Union in climate change politics and how it serves a coherent law-making role among many countries

     · Summarizes the individual stances and precedent on climate law across Europe

     · Analyzes the relationship between Europe and the wider environmental arena both domestically

2021  within the member countries of the European Union and internationally

Standing and Future Generations: Does Massachusetts v. EPA Open Standing for Generations to Come?

     · 2009-Bradford Mank-University of Cincinnati College of Law

     · This article focuses on the controversial effort to apply legal standing to future and potentially

       unborn generations in order to force climate policies into effect

     · Applying legal standing to future generations would be a tremendous boon to the climate law

       movement, but to date few courts have been willing to set such a wide-ranging precedent.

Connecticut v. American Electric Power Co.

     · 2005, Supreme Court of the United States

     · Focuses on the central question of whether climate change can be declared a public nuisance under existing federal common law

     · Plaintiffs alleged that global warming will cause irreparable damage to the infrastructure and environment of their states and damages

     · Decision made exonerating the defendants (a number of greenhouse gas emitting corporations

       such as American Electric Power Co.) in that contribution to climate change at a large scale through

       corporate greenhouse gas emissions does not constitute a public nuisance

Massachusetts v. EPA

     · 2007, Supreme Court of the United States

     · Centers on the claim that the US Environmental Protection Agency did not have authority under the

       Clean Air Act (CAA) to regulate GHG emissions

     · The Court held that the CAA gives authority to regulate vehicular tailpipe emissions of GHGs

     · Air pollutant defined by court as "any air pollution agent or combination of such agents, including

        any physical, chemical, biological, radioactive ... substance or matter which is emitted into or otherwise enters the ambient air"

Human Adaptation to Climate Change: A Review of Three Historical Cases and Some General Perspectives

     · 2005, Ben Orlove, Elsevier

     · Employs historical examples such as the Maya of Mexico, the viking settlements in Greenland, and

       the Dust Bowl in the United States to outline climate law in the world

     · Attempts to bridge “the study of mitigation and adaptation” through not only history, but political

       sociology, sciences, and organizational studies

     · Analyzes the role of regional boundaries and rights to natural resources and how they play into the ethics and background of climate law

Climate change law & “atmospheric trust litigation”

Clay Napurano (2022) & Joseph Coles (2021) of Brandeis University contributed to this page.