Anthony Fennell, Professor Jacqueline Mcglade, Strathmore University Business School discussed on Future Tense
Let's play a little sound association. Game anthony fennell here. Welcome to future taints. Okay these these the sound of the environment unless you live in this kind of environment which is probably most of us to be honest and this this is. The very familiar sounded ponticelli particularly in australia. A sound that still haunts many communities and then days not familiar perhaps will this is yet another sound associated with how increasingly fragile environment the sound of litigation and according to our guest today. It's a sound we're going to be hearing morals incoming news. I think the landscape of court cases around climate change is really changing rapidly. I mean you can even see in the last two or three years. We've doubled the number of cases that are being brought forward and it's not just in the developed world it's in many many countries. I mean colombia. India pakistan so the the very nature of what we're seeing is very diverse but it has at its core the idea that climate change is really pushing governments and corporations to implement their climate commitments. Professor jacqueline mcglade from university college. London and the strathmore university business school in kenya. So there's kind of different categories of these cases. Some are putting forward. The idea of human rights others are saying the government promised to do something. And you're not doing it. There are other cases that are talking about keeping fossil fuels in the ground in other words. Don't even allow them to come out. There's a liability issue around corporations so we see a huge variety of cases coming forward and being successful the other aspect. Which i think is fascinating is that it's across generations and this actually brings a really serious issue so often you'll see a lawyer representing a particular group who have that articulation. They can go to court and they know how to say but we've recently seen a lot of young people putting themselves forward as the next generation and it's had mixed results we had some court cases saying actually we can't legislate. We can't come in your favor because we're not convinced that it will actually determine the fate of people in future so there is a question in terms. it's called justiciability of weird word but it really talks about the right to be in the court case represent the rights of many. You mentioned human rights as one of the categories full litigation. What are the arguments there. How do you use a human rights argument when you're looking at issues around climate change. I'm sure by now. Everybody knows that climate is going to impact everyone and to a different degree. It will affect the health of people their access to food and clean water and so it's that combination of saying that climate change will impact our fundamental human rights to life to water to food and so on and that's how it is connected. Which types of courts are being asked to hear this type of litigation. Are we talking about a variety of jurisdictions. Absolutely i think in the us which has been some of the showcase trial so to speak. We've seen a number of cases being put forward. I find the ones very interesting. Though ones for example from colombia where they actually went to the inter american court of human rights and the court concluded in the favor so to speak of the state by saying that the state had an obligation to take care of their peoples and it was a matter of national. Survival is what that court said so that goes for a whole raft of countries. That come under their jurisdiction. Canada has had cases brought by indigenous groups where to keep their constitutional commitment to peace order and good government. They were challenged by indigenous peoples to pass lewis mitigated greenhouse gas emissions and. They said that if that didn't happen there would be tremendous psychological trauma brought because of extreme events and so on so that was important another one included for example from brazil where the government was failing to properly administer the amazon fund the mechanism that was set up to combat deforestation and the supreme court accepted that lawsuit last year and directed the government to actually provide information on why wasn't managing the fund properly so a whole change and a whole different way of thinking from the philippines south africa peru pakistan many many different kinds of cases being heard at supreme court level at local levels and increasingly at regional and even at the global level jacqueline mcglade at the university of melbourne. Environmental law rexburg professor. Jackie peel explains that diversity by drawing a distinction between what she calls first and second generation litigation so this is a way of understanding how climate litigation is developing the time and the first generation of cases where the ones that were largely by stone projects challenging different kinds of fossil fuel projects. Call ones call five path. Stations though usually brought on grounds challenging government decision making on planning and environmental grounds and they often and only had sort of incremental change of it. Melissa project focused the next generation cases that way saying emerging particularly in the last five years cases that seeking more systemic change and they're doing sides through arguments based on rights or uh seeking accountability of governments businesses more broadly full climate So as seeing cases like the recent case before the federal court where children were suing the australian federal environment minister saying that she in her decision about a call mani proposal needed to take account of the interests of feature generations where also saying said of cases that Being brought against business actors saying they have a responsibility to make sure that they're releasing appropriate information to shareholders invest of the bat halley managing climate risk so. Those cases are quite different than not sort of localized to a particular project. They more about how these myths and policy making is meeting the goals of ensuring sufficient action on climate change. And what can you tell us about the types of people or organizations that are bringing this next generation litigation to the cords. How do they differ from the previous groups. There are some of the same actors involved in both generations if you lot of litigation so environmental groups and advocates of bain at the forefront of both waves of litigation. But we're beginning to say more people entering the spice who come from a ride. Spec ran for human rights background or from a corporate and business accountability background. Also saying you tops of litigants imaging particularly those who might be participating in a class action where they seeking neither decorations that somebody is causing them harm or actually potentially in the future financial damages the loss they suffered as result of climate related events. Shell says it supports the paris agreement on plans to reach net zero carbon emissions by twenty fifty.