UCL Faculty of Laws


Recording | Litigating Climate Change in the Global South

11 October 2023, 6:00 pm–7:00 pm

Power plant in the middle of the forest with mountains in the background

UCL Centre for Law and the Environment host a lecture presented by Jolene Lin

Event Information

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UCL Laws

About this event (see the recording of the lecture below)

A farmer suing his government for violating his constitutional rights through failing to implement the country’s declared climate policy frameworks. A coalition of environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working with local communities to oppose the authorization of a large, new coal-fired power plant. Political parties bringing suit to the highest court of the land to take issue with the non-operationalization of the government’s financial mechanism for funding climate mitigation and adaptation actions. Young people opposing large-scale deforestation which threatens their climate future and that of future generations. These are just some examples of a new phenomenon of climate cases emerging in developing countries of the so-called ‘Global South’. This body of Global South cases now numbers more than 120 cases filed, decided or pending. And it is a fast-growing field: About half of the Global South climate cases have been filed in the past five years.

Drawing from her forthcoming book, “Litigating Climate Change in the Global South” (co-authored with Jacqueline Peel, University of Melbourne, forthcoming by Oxford University Press in 2024), Jolene Lin will be reporting on and offering analysis of the emerging and accelerating phenomenon of climate litigation in Global South countries. Key questions that the book and this seminar seeks to answer:

  • Why a study of Global South climate litigation is significant, especially in the context of broader international law and governance efforts to address climate change;
  • Where such climate cases are occurring;
  • What is encompassed by climate change litigation, which touches on the issue of how such cases are defined and categorized;
  • How Global South climate litigation is occurring;
  • Who are the actors involved in litigating climate change in the Global South and what roles they play; and
  • What then are the emerging impacts of this case law in making a meaningful contribution to addressing climate change, and what might be the areas in which we see further development of this jurisprudence in the future.

A central message of this book is that an appreciation of the Global South’s experience with climate litigation goes a long way towards a fuller picture of transnational climate litigation and its contribution towards global climate governance.

About the Speaker

Jolene Lin is Associate Professor of Law at the National University of Singapore (NUS). She is also Director of the Asia-Pacific Centre of Environmental Law. Her recent publications include Governing Climate Change: Global Cities and Transnational Lawmaking (Cambridge University Press 2018) and Climate Change Litigation in the Asia Pacific (Cambridge University Press 2020). Litigating Climate Change in the Global South will be published by Oxford University Press in 2024.

About the UCL Centre for Law and the Environment

The Centre for Law and Environment was established to provide a focal point for the UCL Faculty of Laws' outstanding expertise and academic strength in the field of the environment and the law. The main goals of the Centre are to advance research and teaching and explore the role of law in meeting contemporary environmental and energy challenges. The Centre is committed to treating domestic law (UK), regional (European Union) and international aspects of environmental law in a comprehensive and integrated manner. This approach is reflected in offerings on the LLM course and the supervision of doctoral students, as well as in the diverse range of research pursued by members of the Centre.

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