The law is the best way to empower people to protect their environment, and the only way to rebalance the power between governments, industry and individuals.

We have helped governments to write environmental laws, and regulators to enforce them. We have saved Europe’s oldest forest from destruction, smoothed the way for environmental lawsuits in China, and helped communities in Africa’s last great rainforest cut illegal logging.

We make sure people can find information about the environment where they live and work, so they can take that information to court when things go wrong. We sue polluting companies, and we help them change their business model to do better in future. Because protecting the planet is best for us all.


active cases tackling the most pressing environmental challenges

Our key wins in 2020


What we achieved in 2019

  • After a multi-year legal battle the EU’s top court said that the failure by German authorities to follow court orders on air pollution is a serious breach of the rule of law and of fundamental rights and endorsed strong sanctions
  • In November, the European Investment Bank announced it will stop funding fossil fuel projects from 2021 after months of advocacy from ClientEarth lawyers
  • We put 100 local authorities across England on notice, warning them that they will violate their legal obligations and risk legal challenge if they do not introduce proper climate change plans
  • Twelve top China judges completed a leadership development programme designed by ClientEarth and Oxford University’s Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment to help them implement China’s new environmental laws.
  • We scored a major win in our novel shareholder lawsuit against Enea, the project co-owner of planned coal plant Ostraleka C, putting its future in question.
  • In a world first, our lawyers act on behalf of a group of indigenous Australians to challenge their government’s climate failings at the UN.
  • In March, Poland’s Supreme Administrative Court upheld the decision to ban solid coal and wood burning in Krakow
Cyclists in London

Our 2018 achievements

  • The Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union found in our favour in ruling that the European Commission must make impact assessments that support its decision-making process public. This was the culmination of a four-year battle for us, and is a judgement that has far-reaching consequences.
  • We reported four major UK companies to the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) over failures to address climate change trends and risks in their reports to shareholders.
  • Following advocacy from our climate finance team, the UK pensions regulator explicitly recognises climate change as a long-term financial risk.
  • Judges ruled that increased logging in Bialowieza Forest violates EU law.
  • ClientEarth made legal history after a High Court judge ruled that the court should have effective oversight of the UK government’s next air pollution plans.

We use law as a tool to mend the relationship between human societies and the Earth. We work all around the world, bringing together law, science and policy to create practical solutions to key environmental challenges.
James Thornton, CEO and founder
James Thornton, ClientEarth founder