Global Trends in Climate Litigation: Lessons for COP26 - video
The Grantham Research institute for Climate Change and the Environment are hosting a two-day programme of events focused on the role of litigation and legislation in the implementation of the Paris Agreement on 1 and 2 July. The events are being held in collaboration with the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law & Governance (SCELG) at the University of Strathclyde Law School in Glasgow, Scotland, and the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University.
These events will mark the launch of the Grantham Research Institute’s 2021 Global Trends in Climate Change Litigation Policy Report. This annual report – which has been published regularly since 2017 – provides policymakers, the legal community, and the wider public with an overview of the state of the art of climate litigation and highlights recent developments and recommendations for action.
The event on 2 July will focus on the role of climate change litigation in the implementation of the Paris Agreement. It will begin with a short presentation from lead author Dr Joana Setzer and Catherine Higham on the findings of the Grantham Research Institute’s 2021 Global Trends in Climate Change Litigation Policy Report. The presentation will be followed by a panel discussion, with four distinguished experts in the field. Panellists will be asked to react to the report and to draw out key aspects from their own experience in the field for policymakers, lawyers and litigants to consider ahead of the critical COP26 conference.
Nigel Brook (Partner at Clyde & Co)
Briony Eales (Climate Change Law and Policy Expert at the Asian Development Bank)
Michelle Jonker-Argueta (Acting Senior Legal Counsel Strategic Litigation at Greenpeace)
James Maurici QC (Barrister at Landmark Chambers)
Nigel Brook is a London-based partner and insurance specialist at Clyde & Co. He also leads the firm’s Resilience and Climate Change Risk practice, which focuses on the current and future impact of climate-related physical, transition and liability risks and the steps that can be taken to address them. He frequently writes and speaks about developments in the various categories of climate-related litigation and associated duties of care.
Briony Eales is a climate change and environmental lawyer working in the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Law and Policy Reform program. Briony led research and writing for ADB’s four-part report series, Climate Change, Coming Soon to a Court Near You. The reports are comprehensive in their review of climate law, policy, and litigation in Asia and the Pacific. They shine a spotlight on the judicial achievements so far and seek to give voice to the unique perspectives in Asia and the Pacific. Briony has also advised a Southeast Asia government on its climate law and updated climate change strategy.
Briony previously worked as in-house counsel on a multi-billion dollar mining project, safeguarding environmental and social compliance and advising on project risk, sustainable development, resettlement, and indigenous people’s engagement. This work taught Briony much about community rights to participation. While working as a solicitor in Australia, Briony practised administrative and insurance law.
Michelle Jonker-Argueta is acting Senior Legal Counsel for Strategic Litigation at Greenpeace International. In this capacity, Michelle oversees the organization’s strategic litigation work. Michelle advises on the design, development and implementation of legal strategies to hold governments and corporations accountable for climate change and biodiversity loss and the resulting human rights violations. Michelle is an attorney registered with the New York Bar. She is also a Dutch lawyer.
James Maurici QC is a barrister at Landmark Chambers. He specialises in planning and environmental law. James was lead counsel for the Department of Transport in R (Spurrier) v Secretary of State for Transport and others  EWHC 1070 (Admin) and R (Plan B) v Secretary of State for Transport  EWCA Civ 214 which involved multiple judicial review challenges to the Airports National Policy Statement favouring Heathrow expansion and raising issues related to among things climate change and the Paris Agreement. He advised the Department of Transport in relation to airport expansion and the response to the Airports Commission final report from 2012 to 2020.
Chair and moderator
Professor Conor Gearty, Professor in Human Rights Law in the LSE Law Department will chair the event. Lord Robert Carnwath, former Justice of the UK Supreme Court and Visiting Professor in Practice at the Grantham Research Institute at LSE will moderate the discussion.
This event is being held as part of London Climate Action Week 2021