Climate Litigation in the Global South Project

Climate Litigation in the Global South Project

Climate litigation is rapidly becoming a global phenomenon, placing courts as essential players in climate governance to advance and protect human rights. Climate litigation in the Global South in particular, is utilizing human rights to push for greater ambition in adaptation and mitigation efforts, especially where governments’ responses to the causes and myriad impacts of climate change have been inadequate or inconsistent with applicable laws and policies.

Indeed, nearly 60 climate change cases have been identified in 18 Global South jurisdictions, with at least 11 of these filed in 2020 alone. Given this growing trend, scholars from the Global South are shining a light on the influence of the Global South in transnational climate litigation, illustrated by the inclusion of chapters dedicated to jurisdictions in the Global South in recent edited books, among other scholarship. However, more work needs to be done to identify the transnational issues that commonly cross national boundaries, and to understand these important issues from the perspective of the Global South. There are myriad structural and systemic barriers to the emergence of Global South scholarship on climate change, and this project hopes to be part of a broader movement to overcome these.

This GNHRE project, led by Maria Antonia Tigre and Melanie Murcott, and sponsored by the Sabin Centre for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School, and Transnational Law Institute, Kings College London, highlights advancements in, and obstacles to, climate litigation in the Global South, from the perspective of scholars and practitioners in the Global South, particularly in relation to the application and implementation of human rights. The project represents a space for Global South scholars and practitioners to share experiences, knowledge, and perspectives about climate litigation in the Global South related to the implementation and application of human rights, and create new knowledge whilst gaining insight from an expert editorial team of established scholars with expertise in global/regional climate litigation and/or climate change law.

Through a series of thematic rounds, the project aims to amplify voices from the Global South by organizing workshops, public events and contributing to the literature and other resources, such as a bibliography relating to climate change law scholarship in the Global South. For these purposes, this project will produce articles in dedicated special issues of a leading accredited journals, (ii) publication of chapters and shorter analysis pieces in peer-reviewed edited volumes, (iii) as well as blog posts on the GNHRE’s website, and other less formal platforms. For more information about the project, click on the links below or email us at Publications for round one of the project feature in a special collection of Journal of Human Rights Practice, in 2024.

The first round of this project is supported by Felix Le Roux (Academic Associate and LLM candidate at the University of Pretoria), Lavinia Bhaskaruni (LLM General Law candidate at McGill University), Şimal Efsane Erdoğan (Visiting Lecturer and Ph.D. in law candidate at King’s College London).

The second round of the project is supported by Jemima Roe (Disputes lawyer and MBA candidate), Mathilde Knöfel (M.A. in International Cooperation and Human Rights at the University of Bologna), Şimal Efsane Erdoğan (Visiting Lecturer and Ph.D. in law candidate at King’s College London), Fezeka Ntsanwisi (admitted attorney, researcher and PhD candidate at the University of Capetown) and Danielle Yeatman.

A call for participation in the second round of our project (2023/2024) is closed. The second round focuses on “The significance of climate litigation for vulnerable groups in the Global South”. For more information click here.