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
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
2019In a world first, our lawyers act on behalf of a group of indigenous Australians to challenge their government’s climate failings at the UN.
2018Following advocacy from our climate finance team, the UK pensions regulator explicitly recognises climate change as a long-term financial risk.
2017We 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
2016Working alongside local communities and other campaigners we block Polnoc plant, the largest new coal power plant in Europe.
2015We train judges and prosecutors in China to use environmental law. Within two years more than 100 law suits are filed.
2014Our EU-wide community power project establishes the legal basis to help people own renewables and contribute to a cleaner, more sustainable power system.
2014We launch our climate litigation team, which brings challenges against businesses and governments to drive action on climate change.
2014We create a first-of-its-kind “bible for forest law” in Gabon, helping people defend their rights, livelihoods, and the forests that trap carbon.
2013We 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.
2013Coal is the main cause of life-limiting air quality in Krakow. We convince the authorities to ban coal for domestic heating.
2012In 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.
2012We block Polish government attempts to prop up its polluting coal fleet with free carbon emissions allowances for ineligible power plants.
2010We file complaints against Rio Tinto and BP for inadequately disclosing climate impacts in their annual reports.
2010We are key players in getting an EU-wide law banning illegally harvested rainforest timber passed, significantly reducing CO2 emissions and protecting fragile habitats.
2010We open in Warsaw. Our climate lawyers there will spend the next decade preventing many new coal power facilities being built across Poland.
2009We hire our climate and forests programme, dedicated to defending carbon sink forests and the people who depend on them.
2008In 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.
2007James 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.
Bullish forecasts create liability risk ClientEarth warns fossil fuel giants
Mountains in China
aerial view of city and road for story saying Climate litigation blind date brings scientists and lawyers together
Secret London air pollution report reveals danger to children
New York City sues Oil majors
There’s still so much more to do to avert the climate crisis. We need your help.
Why I do environmental law
“The world is changing dramatically, and the crucial years ahead will determine the health of the planet our children will inherit.”
What we do →
"Rising seas are washing away Torres Strait Islanders' homes. We're supporting them to bring a world-first climate change case."
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“Governments across the EU are still breathing life into coal with major subsidies. Europe needs to get a grip on its coal problem.”
Our work in coal →
Energy Lead, Poland
“We stepped in to save Europe's oldest forest from illegal logging, protecting lynx, bison and other endangered species.”
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We have over 160 staff working on projects in more than 50 countries