UNEP Global Litigation Report 2021.

Spike in climate litigation whips up climate change control!

29 January 2021.


There has been a spike in climate litigation cases in recent years. This makes the courtroom increasingly relevant to efforts to address climate change around the world.The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has released its “Global Climate Litigation Report 2021”. The report was published by the UNEP in cooperation with the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University..

Highlights of the report:

  • As per the report, climate cases have nearly doubled over the last three years.
  • Increasing climates cases are increasingly compelling the governments and corporate actors to implement their climate commitments.
  • The cases are also compelling the government to pursue more ambitious climate change mitigation and adaptation goals.
  • As per the data provided by the report, in 2017 884 cases were brought in 24 countries. While as of 2020, cases have increased to 1,550 filed in 38 countries and the European Union courts.
  • Report finds that the climate litigation continues to be concentrated in high-income countries and the trend might further grow in the global south.
  • The report has also identified the trends in climate litigation like Violations of “climate rights”. That means the cases are increasingly relying on fundamental human rights such as right to life, food, health and water.

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

  • UNEP, which is also called UN Environment, was established by Maurice Strong in June1972 following the UN conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm.
  • The organisation involves in coordinating the responses to environmental issues within the United Nations system.
  • It provides the leadership, deliver science and develop the solutions on issues like climate change, management of marine & terrestrial ecosystems and green economic development.
  •  It also develops the international environmental agreement and helps in achieving the environmental targets.
  •  The primary aim of the UNEP is to help the world to meet the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Environmental agreements such as the Minamata Convention on Mercury, Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and Convention on Migratory Species are organised by UNEP.
  • It also helps in implementing the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol and Global Environment Facility (GEF).

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