Achieving Climate Change Goals through Climate Litigation

Speaker: David Estrin

November 6, 2017

Achieving Climate Change Goals through Climate Litigation

Two years after the adoption of the Paris Agreement on climate change, many aspects of the agreement still need to be negotiated. While diplomats have made progress on these items, progress has been slow. In this video, climate lawyer David Estrin proposes alternative methods for achieving climate change goals by bringing claims to domestic courts.

Estrin gives the example of the Urgenda case, a Dutch environmental group that successfully sued the Dutch government for not meeting its obligations to fight climate change. It was the first time that a court ordered a government to reduce its national carbon emissions. Estrin argues that this course of action may be the most powerful way to force action, especially considering the slow progress made at the international level. “This is not the ideal way,” he says. “It would be better if the world’s nations agreed on something effective and actually worked at it.” 

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