Why ClientEarth

The science couldn’t be clearer: we are facing a climate crisis that threatens the future of life on our planet. But we have the power to fix it. We need to take swift and systemic action that tackles climate change and protects the natural ecosystems that sustain our world. At ClientEarth we use the law to make these fundamental changes, because it’s the most powerful tool we have. Our climate wins

Why ClientEarth Matters
Why ClientEarth Matters
Why ClientEarth Matters

ClientEarth is an environmental law charity halting the destruction of the natural world

Using the law we can achieve permanent change and a sustainable future for all.

Our approach works because law is a language governments and business understand.

We don’t focus on the symptoms. We change the system, by making sure laws are effective and enforcing them rigorously.

Our latest climate wins

  • TORRES-IMAGE_for-website_001.jpg

    2019

    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.
  • autumn-leaves.jpg

    2018

    Following advocacy from our climate finance team, the UK pensions regulator explicitly recognises climate change as a long-term financial risk.
  • Bullish-forecasts-create-liability-risk-ClientEarth-warns-fossil-fuel-giants.jpg

    2017

    We warn BP and Glencore of the risk of investor lawsuits based on poor climate change reporting. The UK financial regulator changes its risk reporting rules to incorporate climate risk in response to our work
  • test_image_029.jpg

    2016

    Working alongside local communities and other campaigners we block Polnoc plant, the largest new coal power plant in Europe.
  • Mountains-in-China.jpg

    2015

    We train judges and prosecutors in China to use environmental law. Within two years more than 100 law suits are filed.
  • European_Commission_flags.gif

    2014

    Our EU-wide community power project establishes the legal basis to help people own renewables and contribute to a cleaner, more sustainable power system.
  • aerial-view-of-city-and-road-for-story-saying-Climate-litigation-blind-date-brings-scientists-and-lawyers-together.jpg

    2014

    We launch our climate litigation team, which brings challenges against businesses and governments to drive action on climate change.
  • Gabon.jpg

    2014

    We create a first-of-its-kind “bible for forest law” in Gabon, helping people defend their rights, livelihoods, and the forests that trap carbon.
  • Secret-London-air-pollution-report-reveals-danger-to-children.jpg

    2013

    We win our Supreme Court case against the UK government for failing to tackle our dirty air, because climate change and air pollution go hand in hand.
  • krakow-1625842.jpg

    2013

    Coal is the main cause of life-limiting air quality in Krakow. We convince the authorities to ban coal for domestic heating.
  • New-York-City-sues-Oil-majors.jpg

    2012

    In the US, ClientEarth lodges a first-of-its kind “friend of the court” brief when the Environmental Protection Agency’s power to regulate carbon pollution comes under attack.
  • belchatow-village-view.jpg

    2012

    We block Polish government attempts to prop up its polluting coal fleet with free carbon emissions allowances for ineligible power plants.
  • investors-call-for-mining-giant-climate-risk-transparency.jpg

    2010

    We file complaints against Rio Tinto and BP for inadequately disclosing climate impacts in their annual reports.
  • ID-marking-on-timber-for-story-saying-Two-new-studies-pave-the-way-for-EU-action-on-deforestation.jpg

    2010

    We are key players in getting an EU-wide law banning illegally harvested rainforest timber passed, significantly reducing CO2 emissions and protecting fragile habitats.
  • chimney-environmental-damage-factory-29465.gif

    2010

    We open in Warsaw. Our climate lawyers there will spend the next decade preventing many new coal power facilities being built across Poland.
  • poland-forest-1.jpg

    2009

    We hire our climate and forests programme, dedicated to defending carbon sink forests and the people who depend on them.
  • uk-parliament.jpg

    2008

    In response to our work the UK Government agrees to do environmental assessments before approving new coal plants. A new generation of climate-damaging coal power is shelved.
  • backlit-coal-plant-flues.jpg

    2007

    James Thornton establishes ClientEarth. Challenging plans to build two coal-fired power plants in Kingsnorth, UK, is one of his first projects. The plants are never built.
TORRES-IMAGE_for-website_001
2019
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.
TORRES-IMAGE_for-website_001
autumn-leaves
2018
Following advocacy from our climate finance team, the UK pensions regulator explicitly recognises climate change as a long-term financial risk.
autumn-leaves
Bullish forecasts create liability risk ClientEarth warns fossil fuel giants
2017
We warn BP Glencore of the risk of investor lawsuits based on poor climate change reporting. The UK financial regulator changes its risk reporting rules to incorporate climate risk in response to our work.
Bullish forecasts create liability risk ClientEarth warns fossil fuel giants
test_image_029
2016
Working alongside local communities and other campaigners we block Polnoc plant, the largest new coal power plant in Europe.
test_image_029
Mountains in China
2015
We've been training judges and prosecutors in China to use environmental law. Within two years more than 100 law suits are filed.
Mountains in China
European_Commission_flags
2014
Our EU-wide community power project establishes the legal basis to help people own renewables and contribute to a cleaner, more sustainable power system.
European_Commission_flags
aerial view of city and road for story saying Climate litigation blind date brings scientists and lawyers together
2014
We launched our climate litigation team, which brings challenges against businesses and governments to drive action on climate change.
aerial view of city and road for story saying Climate litigation blind date brings scientists and lawyers together
Gabon
2014
We created a first-of-its-kind “bible for forest law” in Gabon, helping people defend their rights and livelihoods.
Gabon
Secret London air pollution report reveals danger to children
2013
Climate change and air pollution go hand in hand. In 2013 we won our Supreme Court case against the UK government for failing to tackle our dirty air.
Secret London air pollution report reveals danger to children
krakow-1625842
2013
Coal is the main cause of life-limiting air quality in Krakow. We convinced the authorities to ban coal for domestic heating.
krakow-1625842
New York City sues Oil majors
2012
In the US, ClientEarth lodges a first-of-its kind “friend of the court” brief when the Environmental Protection Agency’s power to regulate carbon pollution comes under attack.
New York City sues Oil majors
belchatow-village-view
2012
We block Polish government attempts to prop up its polluting coal fleet with free carbon emissions allowances for ineligible power plants.
belchatow-village-view
investors-call-for-mining-giant-climate-risk-transparency
2010
We filed complaints against Rio Tinto and BP for inadequately disclosing climate impacts in their annual reports.
investors-call-for-mining-giant-climate-risk-transparency
backlit-coal-plant-flues
2010
We are key players in getting an EU-wide law banning illegally harvested rainforest timber passed, significantly reducing CO2 emissions and protecting fragile habitats.
backlit-coal-plant-flues
2010
We open in Warsaw. Our climate lawyers there will spend the next decade preventing many new coal power facilities being built across Poland.
2009
We hire our climate and forests programme, dedicated to defending carbon sink forests and the people who depend on them.
2008
In response to our work the UK Government agrees to do environmental assessments before approving new coal plants. A new generation of climate-damaging coal power is shelved.
backlit-coal-plant-flues
2007
James Thornton establishes ClientEarth. Challenging plans to build two coal-fired power plants in Kingsnorth, UK, is one of his first projects. The plants are shelved.
backlit-coal-plant-flues

There’s still so much more to do to avert the climate crisis. We need your help.

Why I do environmental law

James Thornton

“The world is changing dramatically, and the crucial years ahead will determine the health of the planet our children will inherit.”

James Thornton
CEO, ClientEarth

Support our work – donate →
Sophie Marjanac

"Rising seas are washing away Torres Strait Islanders' homes. We're supporting them to bring a world-first climate change case."

Sophie Marjanac
Climate lawyer

Support our work – donate →
Ilona Jedrasik

“Governments across the EU are still breathing life into coal with major subsidies. Europe needs to get a grip on its coal problem.”

Ilona Jedrasik
Energy Lead, Poland

Support our work – donate →
Agata Szafraniuk

“We stepped in to save Europe's oldest forest from illegal logging, protecting lynx, bison and other endangered species.”

Agata Szafraniuk
Biodiversity Lawyer

Support our work – donate →

We have over 160 staff working on projects in more than 50 countries

ClientEarth offices

Environmental law can make a better future

The challenges facing the climate and nature are enormous.

But by changing the system through the law, we can tackle them.
With your help we can…

End Coal

End coal.

40% of global power comes from coal. This must drop to 2% by 2050 to avoid a climate crisis.
Green infrastructure

‘Green’ infrastructure:

We need to make economic development sustainable – like China’s trillion dollar infrastructure spending in Asia and Africa.
Sustainable

Make logging, chemicals and fishing sustainable.

So our natural resources can recover.
Green financial markets

‘Green’ financial markets:

Diverting money away from industries accelerating climate change and towards those supported a sustainable world.
Build security

Build security

The climate crisis threatens people’s homes, food, jobs and security. Used right, the law can balance the needs of societies and the natural world on which they depend.