Climate Change Laws of the World

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Abrahams v. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (Opened in 2017 )

Citation/reference number: No. VID __ of 2017
Jurisdiction: Australia
Core objective(s): Bank's alleged failure to disclose climate change-related risks of its investments
Current status: Decision pending

Shareholders of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia sued the bank, alleging that it violated the Corporations Act of 2001 with the issuance of its 2016 annual report, which failed to … read more »


Adani Mining Pty. Ltd. v. Land Services of Coast & Country Inc. & Others (Opened in 2015 )

Citation/reference number: [2015] QLC 48, [2016] FCA 1042
Jurisdiction: Australia
Core objective(s): Consideration of Scope 3 emissions in EIA for planned coal mine
Current status: Decided

This case dealt with a challenge to the Minister’s approval of an Environmental Assessment (EA) of the proposed Anvil Hill Project coal mine, which was expected to produce about 10.5 … read more »


Australian Conservation Foundation Inc. v. Minister for the Environment (Opened in 2016 )

Citation/reference number: [2016] FCA 1042
Jurisdiction: Australia
Core objective(s): Challenge to approved coal minign project
Current status: open

The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) challenged the Minister’s decision to approve the opening of the Carmichael Coal Mine. The project by Adani Mining Pty Ltd involves the construction of a new open-cut and … read more »


Fetherston v Wollongong City Council  (Opened in 2016 )

Citation/reference number: [2016] NSWLEC 1527
Jurisdiction: Australia
Core objective(s): Permissions to develop in spite of flood risk
Current status: Decided

Mr. Fetherston, who had been denied permission to build a two-story dwelling by the Wollongong City Council, appealed that denial, arguing among other things that the design made adequate provision … read more »


Fetterplace v Mornington Peninsula Shire Council  (Opened in 2016 )

Citation/reference number: [2010] VCAT 1549
Jurisdiction: Australia
Core objective(s): Permission to build in area at risk from coastal flooding
Current status: Decided

Mr. Fetterplace appealed the shire council’s denial of building permission, which the council had justified on various grounds, including the risk of climate change-driven coastal flooding. The Tribunal considered the … read more »


Gloucester Resources Limited v. Minister for Planning (Opened in 2017 )

Citation/reference number: [2019] NSWLEC 7
Jurisdiction: Australia
Core objective(s): Whether the government could decline a coal mine project application upon consideration of climate change impacts and other factors.
Current status: closed

On December 19, 2017, Gloucester Resources Limited sued the Minister of Planning, appealing the denial of the company’s application to construct an open cut coal mine in New South Wales, … read more »


McVeigh v. Retail Employees Superannuation Trust (Opened in 2018 )

Citation/reference number: NSD1333/2018
Jurisdiction: Australia
Core objective(s): Whether an Australian pension fund violated the law by failing to disclose information on climate business risks and its strategies to address these risks
Current status: open

An Australian pension fund member filed suit against the Retail Employees Superannuation Trust (REST) alleging that the fund violated the Corporations Act 2001 by failing to provide information related to … read more »


Pridel Investments Pty. Ltd. v. Coffs Harbour City Council  (Opened in 2017 )

Citation/reference number: [2017] NSWLEC 1042
Jurisdiction: Australia
Core objective(s): Permissions to develop in an area subject to coastal flood risk
Current status: Decided

This case dealt with the Coffs Harbour City Council’s rejection of Pridel Investments’ application to develop a 39-lot subdivision. The city council’s grounds for rejection included unacceptably high flooding risk, … read more »


Ralph Lauren 57 Pty. Ltd. v. Byron Shire Council (Opened in 2016 )

Citation/reference number: [2016] NSWSC 169
Jurisdiction: Australia
Core objective(s): Seek declaratory judgment and damages in relation to shoreline armoring restrictions and policy of planned retreat
Current status: Settled/Withdrawn

A group of plaintiffs who own property along Belongil Beach in New South Wales, Australia sought damages from the local government authority, the Byron Shire Council, to cover the costs … read more »


In re Vienna-Schwechat Airport Expansion (Opened in 2017 )

Citation/reference number: W109 2000179-1/291E; E 875/2017
Jurisdiction: Austria
Core objective(s): Prevent construction of third runway at Vienna's airport
Current status: closed

Various NGOs and individuals persuaded a panel of the Austrian Federal Administrative Court to overturn the government of Lower Austria’s approval of construction of a third runway at Vienna’s main … read more »


VZW Klimaatzaak v. Kingdom of Belgium, et al. (Court of First Instance, Brussels, 2015) (Opened in 2015 )

Citation/reference number: [no citation available]
Jurisdiction: Belgium
Core objective(s): Seeking to force federal and regional governments to act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
Current status: open

Similar to the Urgenda case in the Netherlands, the Klimaatzaak — “climate case” — was brought by an organization of concerned citizens arguing that Belgian law requires the Belgian government’s … read more »


Burgess v. Ontario Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry (Opened in 2016 )

Citation/reference number: Court File No. 16-1325 CP
Jurisdiction: Canada
Core objective(s): Recover damages for failure to avert flooding
Current status: Decision pending

Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources manages the water levels in several lakes whose surfaces would otherwise rise higher and fall lower with snow melt and precipitation. Historically, the area around … read more »


ENVironnement JEUnesse v. Canada (Opened in 2018 )

Citation/reference number: 500-06
Jurisdiction: Canada
Core objective(s): Whether the Canadian government violated fundamental rights of citizens aged 35 and under by failing to set a greenhouse gas emission reduction target and plan to avoid dangerous climate change impacts.
Current status: open

ENvironnement JEUnesse, an environmental nonprofit, has applied in the Superior Court of Québec to bring a climate change-related class action against the Canadian government on behalf of Québec citizens aged … read more »


Greenpeace Canada v. Minister of the Environment, Conservation, and Parks; Lieutenant Governor in Council (Opened in 2018 )

Citation/reference number: Case no. 575/18
Jurisdiction: Canada
Core objective(s): Whether regulations and legislation undoing Ontario’s cap and trade program illegally failed to comply with requirements for public consultation
Current status: open

Environmental groups filed suit against the Ontarian government, alleging the government failed to meet legal requirements for public consultation on regulations that would end Ontario’s cap and trade program and … read more »


In re Amended and Restated Preliminary Prospectus of Kinder Morgan Canada Limited’s Initial Public Offering (Opened in 2017 )

Citation/reference number: [no citation available]
Jurisdiction: Canada
Core objective(s): Adequacy of climate change-related disclosures in Kinder Morgan Canada's IPO prospectus
Current status: Decision pending

Citing provisions of the Securities Acts of Alberta and Ontario that require public companies to disclose all material facts about their operations and business models, Greenpeace requested that Alberta’s Securities … read more »


Ontario v. Canada re Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, 2019 (Opened in 2018 )

Citation/reference number: C65807
Jurisdiction: Canada
Core objective(s): Whether the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act passed by the national government is constitutional
Current status: closed

The Province of Ontario filed suit in the Ontario Court of Appeal seeking consideration of whether the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (GGPPA) is unconstitutional. The GGPPA became law in … read more »


Syncrude Canada Ltd. v. Attorney General of Canada (Federal Court of Appeal 2016) (Opened in 2016 )

Citation/reference number: [2016] FCA 160
Jurisdiction: Canada
Core objective(s): Challenge to government’s authority to impose Renewable Fuel Regulations
Current status: Decided

In 2011, Syncrude Canada requested independent review of the regulation that requires two percent of the content of all its diesel fuels to be renewable, even what it produces for … read more »


Weaver v. Corcoran & Others (British Columbia Supreme Court, Canada, 2015) (Opened in 2015 )

Citation/reference number: [2015] BCSC 165
Jurisdiction: Canada
Core objective(s): Plaintiff sought injunction against newspaper for publishing false, malicious and defamatory words.
Current status: Decided

Professor Andrew Weaver, a renown Canadian climate scientist, filed suit against the National Post, its publisher, and several journalists for defamation. Dr. Weaver’s claims arose out of the defendants’ publication … read more »


Saskatchewan v. Canada re Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act; Bill C-74, Part 5 (Opened in 2018 )

Citation/reference number: 2019 SKCA 40
Jurisdiction: Canada
Core objective(s): Whether the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act passed by the national government is constitutional
Current status: appealed

In April of 2018, the Province of Saskatchewan filed a reference case with the Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan, asking whether the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (GGPPA) was an … read more »


Union of Swiss Senior Women for Climate Protection v. Swiss Federal Council and Others (Opened in 2016 )

Citation/reference number: No. A-2992/2017
Jurisdiction: Switzerland
Core objective(s): Adequacy of Swiss government's climate change mitigation targets and implementation measures
Current status: appealed

In 2016, a group of senior women, filed suit against the Swiss Government, alleging that the government had failed to uphold obligations under the Swiss Constitution and European Convention on … read more »


Decision C-035/16 of February 8, 2016 (Opened in 2016 )

Citation/reference number: Decision C-035/16 of February 8, 2016
Jurisdiction: Colombia
Core objective(s): Constitutionality of statutory provisions grandfathering agricultural, mining, and oil and gas development activities in sensitive, high-altitude ecosystems
Current status: Decided

Colombia’s Constitutional Court struck down provisions of Law No. 1450 of 2011 and of Law No. 1753 of 2015 that threatened high-altitude ecosystems, called paramos. The court noted several important … read more »


Future Generations v. Ministry of the Environment and Others (Opened in 2018 )

Citation/reference number: 11001 22 03 000 2018 00319 00
Jurisdiction: Colombia
Core objective(s): Youth plaintiffs seek to enforce fundamental rights to a healthy environment which they claim are threatened by climate change and deforestation.
Current status: closed

According to a press release and copy of the complaint obtained from the organization Dejusticia, 25 youth plaintiffs between the ages of 7 and 26 years old have sued several … read more »


Family Farmers and Greenpeace Germany v. Germany (Opened in 2018 )

Citation/reference number: 00271/17 /R /SP
Jurisdiction: Germany
Core objective(s): Whether the German Federal Government violated plaintiffs constitutional rights and EU law through insufficient action to meet its 2020 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target.
Current status: open

Three German families and Greenpeace Germany have filed suit in the Berlin Administrative Court against the German federal government for backing off its 2020 greenhouse gas emission reduction target in … read more »


Friends of the Earth Germany, Association of Solar Supporters, and Others v. Germany (Opened in 2018 )

Citation/reference number: Not available
Jurisdiction: Germany
Core objective(s): Whether the German government violated plaintiffs’ fundamental rights by failing to meet greenhouse gas emission reduction goals
Current status: open

Friends of the Earth Germany reports that they have lodged a constitutional complaint against the German government, alleging that the government’s failure to meet its own greenhouse gas emission reduction … read more »


Lliuya v. RWE (Opened in 2015 )

Citation/reference number: 2 O 285/15
Jurisdiction: Germany
Core objective(s): Flood risk from climate change
Current status: open

In November 2015, Saúl Luciano Lliuya, a Peruvian farmer who lives in Huaraz, Peru, filed claims for declaratory judgment and damages in a German court against RWE, Germany’s largest electricity … read more »