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Joana Setzer and Mook Bangalore

Chapter 9 relates climate legislation, which is passed by parliaments, to climate litigation, which is pursued through the courts. Using data from 25 countries, the chapter documents how the judiciary is playing an increasingly active role in climate policy, both complementing and in some cases substituting for national legislation. The majority of climate litigation cases fall into one of three categories. In the first category, climate change is at the periphery of the argument. A second category of cases deals with administrative matters related to specific projects. Only in the third category are climate change concerns at the core of the case, and these cases divide equally into lawsuits oriented towards climate policies and legislation, information and disclosure, and loss and damage. Looking at the outcomes of litigation cases, the chapter finds that the courts have so far tended to enhance, rather than curtail, climate change regulation, confirming the important role of courts in regulating climate change.

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Stephane Hallegatte, Mook Bangalore, Laura Bonzanigo, Marianne Fay, Tamaro Kane and Ulf Narloch

This chapter analyses the distributive impacts of climate change. Estimates of the economic costs of climate change tend to focus on the impacts on country-level or global gross domestic product. But such estimates do not capture the full impact of climate change on people’s well-being, given that the worst effects of climate change will be felt by the poorest members of society. The chapter outlines three main mechanisms through which the poor are disproportionately affected by climate change. Climate impacts on agriculture and ecosystems hit the poor hardest, given their reliance on primary production to sustain their livelihoods. The poor also suffer disproportionately the effects of natural hazards such as storms and floods. Finally, climate change will magnify some threats to health, especially for poor and vulnerable people – such as children. The chapter ends with a reflection on how policies can be designed to help alleviate the worst of these effects on the poor, with a view to achieving climate-resilient development.