Catherine coordinates the Climate Change Laws of the World project – the most comprehensive global resource on climate legislation and policy.


Catherine joined the Grantham Research Institute after nearly a decade of policy and advocacy work in the not for profit sector. Most recently, Catherine worked at the international environmental organisation CDP, where she led the organisation’s engagement with sub-national governments in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Before dedicating her career to the fight against climate change, Catherine spent many years working in the field of human rights. From 2011 to 2017 she worked for Reprieve, where she led the organisations’ work on death penalty cases in the Middle East and South Asia, as well as leading investigations and campaigns against extra-judicial killings by the US and its allies.

Catherine holds an LLM from the University of British Columbia, where her research focused on the intersection of human rights and climate change in strategic litigation. During her time at UBC Catherine also co-founded the UBC Climate Hub with a group of incredible student activists, becoming the Climate Hub’s first full time member of staff and establishing the Hub as a new unit within the UBC Sustainability Initiative.

Research interests

  • The role of law in the transition to a net zero economy
  • Human rights and climate change
  • Multi-level governance and the role of sub-national governments in climate action
  • Just Transition


Policy - 2021


Events - 2021


News - 2021

This report considers the recent spate of climate litigation cases against governments and major companies. It suggests that frustration with political progress on tackling climate change is leading communities and activists into taking court action. The article includes quotes from the Institute's Catherine Higham. Read more

Joana Setzer, Catherine Higham and Vibha Mohan provide evidence to complement the OECD’s own ‘stocktake’ of the Guidelines for MNEs by reviewing key developments in understanding of responsible conduct in the climate context, drawing on important climate litigation cases. Read more

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