Climate Change and the Courts
Author: Duncan Ballinger, Barrister, Stout Street Chambers
Climate change is the pressing issue of our times. We must act urgently to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions in order to minimise significant and irreversible disruption to the planet’s climate system.
Equally, we must prepare for and adapt to rising sea levels and more frequent and extreme weather events, as some climate change is already locked into the system.
But the necessary response to climate change by central and local governments, as well as major greenhouse gas emitters, has so far been too slow.
The sluggish pace of action has led many concerned citizens to turn to the courts to seek environmental justice.
This article reviews three recent court decisions on climate change issues and draws together some themes that emerge from these cases.