Climate Change Litigation

In recent years, there has been a significant surge in climate litigation worldwide, involving a growing range of theories and spanning diverse geographical regions. Given the multifaceted nature of climate litigation, establishing and disseminating interconnected knowledge and information hubs has become essential. The Sabin Center plays a vital role in providing a robust and comprehensive set of independent scholarship and free access resources for practitioners and researchers in the field. In addition to tracking and analyzing global climate change litigation, the Sabin Center actively contributes to legal proceedings by submitting amicus briefs in both U.S. and international contexts.

  • Climate Change Litigation Database: The Sabin Center maintains U.S. and Non-U.S. climate litigation charts (the U.S. database is maintained in collaboration with Arnold & Porter). We continue to track the growing wave of international and domestic climate change litigation. Our databases of climate change litigation now provide a resource with information and case documents for over 1000 climate change lawsuits from around the world. To subscribe to the Center's monthly update, subscribe here
  • Climate Attribution Database: Climate attribution science plays a central role in climate litigation and policy-making. The science is central to legal debates on the causal links between human activities, global climate change, and impacts on human and natural systems. This database contains scientific resources organized under four thematic umbrellas: climate change attribution, extreme event attribution, impact attribution, and source attribution. To subscribe to our climate attribution newsletter, subscribe here

Sabin Center Papers & Articles

From State to Corporate Liability in Climate Litigation: How Can Urgenda-type Cases Inform the Responsibility of Private Companies to Mitigate Climate Change?,” Climate change litigation in Europe: Regional, Comparative and Sectoral Perspectives 349 (I. Alogna et al., eds., Intersentia, 2023), by Maria Antonia Tigre

Competition and dialogue between courts in the context of climate change advisory opinions, 117 AJIL Unbound 289 (2023), by Maria Antonia Tigre and Armando Rocha

The ‘Fair Share’ of Climate Mitigation: Can Litigation Increase National Ambition for Brazil?, Journal of Human Rights Practice (2023), by Maria Antonia Tigre

Maria Antonia Tigre, What would a favorable ICJ AO look like and what would it mean for the progressive development of international law and broadly for climate action?, 1(1) Environmental Rights Review 41-44 (2023), by Maria Antonia Tigre

Beyond the North-South divide: Litigation’s role in resolving climate change loss and damage claims, Rev. of Eur., Comp. and Int’l Env’t L. (2023) (link), by Maria Antonia Tigre and Margaretha Wewerinke-Singh

Global Climate Litigation Report: 2023 Status Review (Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School & United Nations Environment Programme, 2023), by Michael Burger & Maria Antonia Tigre 

Climate Litigation in Latin America: Is the region quietly leading a regional revolution?, 14(1) J. Hum. Rts. & Envt. 67–93 (2023), by Maria Antonia Tigre, Natalia Urzola and Alexandra Goodman)

Status Report on Principles of International and Human Rights Law Relevant to Climate Change (Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, 2023), by Maria Antonia Tigre, Katelyn Horne and Michael Gerrard)

Just Transition Litigation in Latin America: An Initial Categorization of Climate Litigation Cases Amid the Energy Transition, by Maria Antonia Tigre, Lorena Zenteno, Marlies Hesselman, Natalia Urzola, Pedro Cisterna-Gaete, and Riccardo Luporini, January 2023

Climate Change and Indigenous Groups: The Rise of Indigenous Voices in Climate Litigation, by Maria Antonia Tigre, December 2022

Liability for Public Deception: Linking Fossil Fuel Disinformation to Climate Damages, by Jessica Wentz and Benjamin Franta, December 2022

Climate Science in Adaptation Litigation in the U.S., by Jacob Elkin, August 2022

The 2017 Inter-American Court’s Advisory Opinion: changing the paradigm for international environmental law in the Anthropocene, 12(1) J. Hum. Rts. & Envt. 24 (with N. Urzola) (2021) 

Climate Attribution Science and the Endangered Species Act, by Jessica Wentz, October 2021

The Law and Science of Climate Change Attribution, by Michael Burger, Jessica Wentz, and Radley Horton, Environmental Law Reporter, August 2021 

Attribution Science in Takings Litigation, by Daniel J. Metzger, July 2021

U.S. Climate Litigation in the Age of Trump: Full Term, by Korey Silverman-Roati, June 2021

Global Climate Litigation Report: 2020 Status Review, Michael Burger and Daniel Metzger (UNEP, 2021)

All Climate Litigation publications are available here.

Legal Briefs and Submissions

Third-party intervention in the case of Verein KlimaSeniorinnen and others v Switzerland at the European Court of Human Rights (December 5, 2022) 

Amicus Brief in Support of Plaintiffs-Appellees in Mayor & City Council of Baltimore v. B.P. p.l.cby Michael Burger (September 2019)

Local Government Amicus Brief in City of Oakland v. BP by Michael Burger (March 2019)

Local Government Amicus Brief in California v. EPA by Michael Burger and Jessica Wentz, and related Press Release (February 2019)

See also: Local Government Motion for Leave to Participate as Amici Curiae in California v. EPA and related Press Release (September 2018)

Amicus Brief in Support of Plaintiffs-Appellees in County of San Mateo v. Chevron Corp. by Michael Burger and Ama Francis (January 2019)

Amicus Brief in support of appeal in New York City v. BP p.l.c. by Michael Burger and Jennifer Danis (November 2018)  

Local Government Motion for Leave to Participate as Amici Curiae in California v. EPA by Michael Burger, Jessica Wentz, and Dena Adler, and related Press Release (September 2018)

All Legal Briefs and Submissions are available here.

Blog Posts

All Litigation blog posts are available here