Trends in Climate Change Legislation
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Trends in Climate Change Legislation

Edited by Alina Averchenkova, Sam Fankhauser and Michal Nachmany

A deepening understanding of the importance of climate change has caused a recent and rapid increase in the number of climate change or climate-related laws. Trends in Climate Change Legislation offers an astute analysis of the political, institutional and economic factors that have motivated this surge, placing it into context.
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Chapter 9: Regulating climate change in the courts

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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