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Climate Litigation Cases Have Spiked in Recent Years: UNEP’s Global Climate Litigation Report: 2020 Status Review

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UNEP Global Climate Litigation Report 2021The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) released a report titled “Global Climate Litigation Report: 2020 Status Review”. The report was published by UNEP in cooperation with the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University, New York. The report states that the climate litigation cases increased in recent years, which has made the courtroom relevant to the efforts to address climate change across the globe.

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Findings of the Report:

i.The climate litigation cases has doubled in the last 3 years.

ii.The increase in climate cases are compelling the governments and corporations to implement their climate commitments and to focus on the ambitious climate change mitigation and adaptation goals.

iii.According to the report as of 2017, around 884 cases were brought in 24 countries and as of 2020, the cases have doubled with around 1550 climate change cases in 39 countries, including the European Union Courts.

iv.The climate litigations are concentrated in the high income countries and the trend is expected to grow in the global south.

v.The report lists the recent cases from Colombia, India, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines and South Africa.

Recent Trends In Climate Litigation:

  • Violations of “climate rights”, the climate cases are relying on fundamental human rights like right to life, health, food, and water.
  • Failures of governments to enforce their commitments on climate change mitigation and adaptation.
  • “Greenwashing” and non-disclosures, when corporate messaging contains false or misleading information about climate change impacts.

Recent Related News:

According to 11th Edition of Emissions Gap Report 2020 (Annual report) released by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), The Global CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) Emissions are set to fall by 7% in 2020 owing to Pandemic.  The report states that emissions of the richest 1% of the Global Population (Countries like United States of America (USA), European Union (EU), Australia and New Zealand) account for more than twice of the share of poorest 50% of countries.

About UNEP:

Executive Director– Inger Andersen
Headquarters– Nairobi, Kenya.
UNEP was founded in June 1972 as a result of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment.