The Judges will take the lead role in the fight against Climate Change
Countries around the world have, to date , done very little to fight against climate change. Political leaders seem paralyzed by the magnitude of the task. And the vast majority of industrial enterprises are not in the vanguard of the combat to protect our environment. Given this situation of inertia, with a few notable exceptions such as some mayors of large cities, an increasing number of citizens and environmental organizations are taking legal action. These people seek to hold governments and companies accountable for the damage they are causing. Fossil fuel companies and mining companies are the first targets. According to a study by UN Environment, extractive industries are responsible for half of the world’s carbon emissions and more than 80% of biodiversity loss. The governments across the globe are the other major targets. Many legal proceedings are underway from Zambia to India, from Ecuador to the US and across the European continent including the UK, France, Portugal and Norway. The UN have identified more than 900 proceedings (Fig.2017) related to environmental protection and linked to climate change. There is no doubt that jurisdictional action will become increasingly common in the next few years. The fight against climate change is the most urgent concern. And the Courts already have the legal tools to exert great pressure on the most recalcitrant countries and multinational companies.