Climate Litigation

235 posts

‘Relevant Rules’ as Normative Environment: Harmony vs Cacophony in the ITLOS Advisory Opinion on Climate Change

On 21 May 2024, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) delivered its much anticipated Advisory Opinion on Climate Change. Other blog-posts have already dealt with various aspects of the Advisory Opinion (see, for instance, here and here), including the Tribunal’s approach to interpreting the United Nations […]

Unlocking UNCLOS: How the ITLOS Advisory Opinion Delivers a Holistic Vision of Climate-relevant International Law

A long-standing conundrum of international environmental law is that the territorially-based, sectoral legal structures we have created to address environmental issues do not match the interconnected, interdependent nature of ecosystems. For many, this problem is writ large in the climate context. Whereas the science—synthesized in recent  assessments and special reports […]

The ITLOS Advisory Opinion on Climate Change: An introduction into the joint blog symposium

On May 21, 2024, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) delivered a long-awaited Advisory Opinion on climate change and international law. This marks the first time that an international tribunal has issued an advisory opinion on State obligations regarding climate change mitigation. The Advisory Opinion addresses […]

What Does the European Court of Human Rights’ First Climate Change Decision Mean for Climate Policy?

On 9 April the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) issued its first ever comprehensive decision in a climate litigation case. The judges of the Court’s Grand Chamber found that Switzerland was in breach of its positive obligations to protect the health, well-being and quality of life of Swiss citizens from the […]

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Reparation for Climate Change at the ECtHR

A Missed Opportunity or the First of Many Decisions to Come? The recent rulings on climate change by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) are—as others have pointed out in this blog symposium—both “historic and unprecedented” for various reasons, not least regarding the question of reparation for climate change-related harm. While redress […]

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KlimaSeniorinnen and Gender

Much has been said already about the decision in KlimaSeniorinnen v. Switzerland granted on Apr 9, 2024 by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR or the Court). The Court’s decision was groundbreaking in that it established an obligation to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as a human rights duty, […]

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KlimaSeniorinnen and the Question(s) of Causation

    In Verein Klimaseniorinnen Schweiz and Others v Switzerland (“KlimaSeniorinnen”), the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) makes many general statements about the nature of climate change and different actors’ roles in addressing it. For example, ‘the Court notes that climate change is one of the most pressing issues […]

International Trade and “Embedded Emissions” after KlimaSeniorinnen: The Extraterritoriality of Climate Change Obligations

A key and underrated aspect of the recent triad of climate rulings of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) is that the ECtHR has brought to the fore the role of trade-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in states’ carbon footprints. While most international climate agreements focus on the reduction […]