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Climate | 5 July 2022

10 Landmark Climate Change Cases

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10 Landmark Climate Change Cases

Human-induced climate change is causing widespread, pervasive disruption to human and natural systems. It is time to start using all the tools we have. Laws and regulations to address climate change have emerged in many jurisdictions, and creative lawyers have brought climate cases to court even in the absence of such laws.

In the run-up to the 2022 International Seminar on Judicial Response to Climate Change co-hosted by the Supreme People’s Court of China, the Asian Development Bank, and ClientEarth, we surveyed environmental law experts to nominate the 10 most impactful climate cases from around the world.

We sincerely hope that the 10 stories provide inspiration. By applying the power of the law, together we can choose a healthier, safer, more dignified and climate resilient future.

1.    Australia: Gloucester Resources Limited v. Minister for Planning

2.    Netherlands: Urgenda Foundation v. State of the Netherlands

3.    Germany: Neubauer et al. v. Germany

4.    Netherlands: Milieudefensie et al. v. Royal Dutch Shell plc.

5.    USA: Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency

6.    Pakistan: Leghari v. Federation of Pakistan   

7.    Kenya: Save Lamu et al. v. National Environmental Management Authority and Amu Power Co. Ltd.

8.    South Africa: EarthLife Africa Johannesburg v. Minister of Environmental Affairs and Others

9.    Argentina: Barrick Exploraciones Argentinas S.A. and others v. National Government

10.  Poland: ClientEarth v. Enea