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 »


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: Decision pending

As with the Urgenda case in the Netherlands, the Klimaatzaak — “climate case” — brought by an organization of concerned citizens has persuaded a Belgian court of the first instance … 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 »


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 »


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 »


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

Citation/reference number:
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: appealed

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 »


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: open

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 »


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 »


Miersch/Maxeiner v. Bundesministerium für Umwelt (Halle Administrative Court, 2015) (Opened in 2015 )

Citation/reference number: 1 A 304/13 HAL
Jurisdiction: Germany
Core objective(s): Challenge to Ministry’s public characterization of journalists as “climate change skeptics”
Current status: Decided

The Administrative Court of Halle, Germany ruled in late November 2015 on a dispute between two journalists and the German Ministry of Environment. Specifically, the court determined that laws governing … read more »


Armando Ferrão Carvalho and Others v. The European Parliament and the Council (Opened in 2018 )

Citation/reference number: [2018] CASE T-##/18
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Action seeking an injunction to order the EU to enact more stringent greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets through existing programs
Current status: open

Ten families, including children, from Portugal, Germany, France, Italy, Romania, Kenya, Fiji, and the Swedish Sami Youth Association Sáminuorra, brought an action in the EU General Court seeking to compel … read more »


Borealis Polyolefine GmbH v. Bundesminister (European Court of Justice, 2016) (Opened in 2016 )

Citation/reference number: [2016] Case C-191/14
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Legal validity of “correction factor” calculation for emissions allowances
Current status: Decided

This European Court of Justice rejected arguments from three industrial firms—one German, one Dutch, and one Italian—that they should be granted a larger number of free greenhouse gas emissions allowances … read more »


Bundesrepublik Deutschland v. Nordzucker AG (European Court of Justice, 2015) (Opened in 2015 )

Citation/reference number: [2015] Case C-148/14
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Referred question regarding proper penalties to be levied for excess emissions under EU’s GHG emissions trading scheme
Current status: Decided

Nordzucker AG (“Nordzucker”), a sugar refinery operator in Germany, produced an emissions report for 2005 pursuant to Directive 2003/87/EC, part of the European Union’s greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme. Nordzucker’s … read more »


European Commission v. Council for the European Union (European Court of Justice, 2015) (Opened in 2015 )

Citation/reference number: [2015] Case C-425/13
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): European Commission challenged negotiating directives of Council establishing detailed negotiating procedures and reporting requirements
Current status: open

Australia approached the European Commission (the “Commission”) to negotiate linking the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme with Australia’s emissions trading system. A formal recommendation authorizing the opening of negotiations … read more »


ŠKO-ENERGO, s.r.o. v. Odvolací finanční ředitelství (European Court of Justice, 2015) (Opened in 2015 )

Citation/reference number: [2015] Case C-43/14
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Challenged imposition of a gift tax to GHG emissions allowances granted free of charge under EU law
Current status: Decided

ŠKO-ENERGO, s.r.o. acquired free greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emission allowances pursuant to Article 10 of Directive 2003/87 (“Article 10”), which provided that EU Member states must allocate at least 90% of … read more »