Date/Time: 23 August 2022, 11:30-12:15
Litigation is becoming a central avenue to force policy change to address the climate emergency. Climate related court cases are growing rapidly in numbers, and are brought before courts in more and more countries and at the international level. Climate litigation is also expanding with regard to the types of cases, as litigants find new ways to weaponize the law to combat climate related challenges. The emerging recognition of the international crime of ecocide – the extinction of eco-systems – is but one ambitious recent development. This roundtable will discuss some of the ways in which litigation is used as a tool to push climate related policy reform. Particular attention will be on how litigation is used to force countries to prepare their health system for climate change. A changing climate strain health systems in multiple ways. Rising temperatures, water scarcity, and vector-bore diseases such as malaria reaching into previously cooler climates increase morbidity and mortality and place heavy demands on health services. And this will not hit equally. Poorer countries are more at risk – and in all societies, poorer parts of the population carry disproportionate burden. At the same time, the distribution of health resources generally favour the richer (and on average healthier) parts of the population, adding to the inequalities. As pressures increase, this is likely to lead to a breakdown in essential health services to large parts of the population – as the pandemic demonstrated. Litigation is now undertaken in several countries to push for reform of the heath system to enable it to take on the increasing health challenges, and to do so in a way that is fair to all.
Participants Include: Thalia Viveros Uehara, Catalina Vallejo and TBA