Suing the State for climate change

Suing the State for climate change is the title for Catalina Vallejo Ph.D project. Vallejo finished her 2018.   


How are courts around the world holding governments accountable for failing to mitigate or adapt to climate change? Through content analysis of court decisions in cases against governments around the world, the study examines where and how citizens are suing their states for climate change, and assesses whether a distinct climate change case-law is evolving and what are its main developments.


Based on the collected data the author concludes that distinct climate change case-law is emerging. While courts are not deciding cases in spectacular, precedent-braking ways, or treating climate change as an ‘exceptional’ legal problem, they are normalizing it by adapting existing legal frameworks to make them workable for the climate problemCourts‘ contribution to the global effort to tackle climate change has been unspectacular but radical, they are making climate changelegally tangibleroutine, and a  matter of state responsibility. If applied to new court cases across countries, the existing precedents have the potential to make interventions into unstable political systems and hopefully add to the multiple efforts being made to affect the composition of the global atmosphere.

Los Andes University School of Law. Supervisor: Cesar Rodriguez-Garavito.