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.
- 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
This is the third report in our Global trends in climate litigation series, focusing on cases filed or concluded between May 2020 and May 2021. It provides an update of known case numbers, metrics and categorisations, and considers some of the most relevant trends in the arguments and strategies employed by litigants. Read more
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
This article considers how the latest the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on climate science could become a... Read more
This magazine article reports on how climate activists have won a number of recent ‘landmark’ cases against big emitters. The... Read more
This news article reports on an Australian court case in which a judge formalised into law a government’s duty of... Read more
This article considers the increase in climate related court cases since 2015 and includes quotes from Kate Higham. Reuters, 2... Read more
This commentary presents the international investment law scenario in which climate-related ‘Investor-State Dispute Settlement’, or ISDS, cases are emerging, identifies the main types of ISDS cases, and considers some reasons why ISDS is relevant for climate litigation and climate policies. Read more
Kate Higham looks into the background to the contempt-of-court trial of Plan B’s Tim Crosland in connection with the ‘Heathrow Case’ and links the trial to a broader phenomenon which sees courts deliberately chosen by climate activists as a space to debate the moral implications of climate inaction. Read more
This article discusses recent climate related court cases involving young people and includes an interview with Catherine Higham. Bloomberg, 17... Read more