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Climate Change Litigation in Europe

Regional, Comparative and Sectoral Perspectives

Book | 1st edition 2024 | Europe, United Kingdom | Ivano Alogna, Carole Billet, Matteo Fermeglia, Alina Holzhausen

Climate change litigation is emerging as a global response to the unfolding climate crisis. As global warming increases and the catastrophic consequences of climate change become apparent, individuals and civil society as a whole are increasingly looking to the judiciary to uphold public and private entities’ obligations to fight global warming and step-up actions to protect present and future generations.

Climate change litigation is particularly pertinent in Europe. Since the landmark decision in Urgenda v. The Kingdom of The Netherlands in 2015, climate cases have been filed across European jurisdictions and reaching European regional courts, such as the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights. Consequently, climate change litigation is also emerging as a consolidated body of knowledge and practices, with the common objective of enhancing climate change mitigation and adaptation action. It is a multi-faceted phenomenon, engaging with a wide array of substantive and procedural legal challenges and issues. Legal architectures and strategies for climate cases include, among others, environmental law, tort law, constitutional law, consumer law, administrative law and human rights law.

Against such a backdrop, Climate Change Litigation in Europe provides, for the first time, a comprehensive account of the most relevant developments around climate change litigation, with a specific focus on Europe. To this end, the book aims to address the phenomenon of climate change litigation from a threefold perspective. First, it unpacks the supranational dimension of climate change litigation within Europe, with a particular focus on European regional courts. Second, it provides a comparative analysis of climate change litigation from different European jurisdictions, in order to understand points of convergence and departures among the different approaches to the common problem of tackling global warming. Finally, it analyses relevant substantive and procedural issues underpinning both existing and future climate change litigation, ranging from human rights to state and corporate responsibilities, international trade and investment and procedural rights.

The book comprises contributions from highly experienced law practitioners and academics, as well as emerging and established experts in the field of climate law and environmental law. It contributes meaningfully to the burgeoning body of literature on climate change litigation by providing a fully-fledged picture of this global phenomenon within Europe.

About the Editors

Ivano Alogna is the Research Leader in Environmental and Climate Change Law at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL) and leads BIICL’s programme in this field. He is an associate member of the Sorbonne Research Institute in International and European Law (IREDIES), Sorbonne Law School. He is also a member of the World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL) of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and its Climate Change Expert Group, a member of the WCEL Taskforce on the Rights of Nature, and an expert of the ‘Environmental Law and Policy’ Commission, IUCN French Committee. He was the General Rapporteur of the ‘Global Pact for the Environment’ project (French Constitutional Council and Club des Juristes) and a member of the European Law Institute (ELI) project on ‘Ecocide’. Furthermore, he is a licensed attorney-at-law at the Bar of Milan. Ivano lectures on international and comparative environmental law, climate change law and litigation, environmental liability, private law, sustainable consumer law and comparative law. He is the co-editor of the book Climate Change Litigation: Global Perspectives (2021, Brill). He holds a PhD in comparative and international environmental law from the Sorbonne Law School, University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and his PhD thesis on ‘The Circulation of Legal Models in the Environmental Field: Toward a Global Environmental Law’ was awarded the Special Jury Prize by the French Society of Environmental Law - SFDE.

Carole Billiet is Head of the Environmental Law Unit (ELU) at Hasselt University and a member of the Hasselt University Centre for Environmental Studies (CMK), an interdisciplinary research institute. She lectures on environmental law, environmental policy, and principles of private and public law. Her main research interests include environmental enforcement law and climate change law. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the legal journal Milieu- en Energierecht. She combines her academic work with her position as a lawyer (Brussels Bar), where she specialises in strategic environmental litigation, including climate change litigation. She holds a PhD in legal sciences from Ghent University.

Matteo Fermeglia is Assistant Professor of Climate Law and Governance at Amsterdam University, Faculty of Humanities. Previously, and throughout the development of this book, he was Assistant Professor of International and European Environmental Law and Post-Doctoral Assistant at Hasselt University. He obtained a PhD in legal sciences at the University of Trieste and Udine in 2019. In 2017, he was a visiting scholar at Columbia Law School, where he collaborated with the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law and the Columbia Center for Sustainable Investments. In 2017, he was awarded the Raúl Estrada-Oyuela Award for Emerging Scholars in Climate Law.

Alina Holzhausen is a Researcher in Environmental and Climate Change Law at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL), and a PhD candidate at the University of Aberdeen. Alina graduated from the University of Bayreuth with a German diploma in law and holds a Maîtrise in international law (University of Bordeaux) and an LLM in international law and international relations (University of Aberdeen). She practised law at the German Parliament before coming to the United Kingdom in 2019. Her main research interests include human rights law, climate change law, international environmental law and public international law.

List of Contributors

With contributions by Ivano Alogna, Carole Billiet, Farah Bouquelle, Dorien Coppens, Matteo Fermeglia, Carlotta Garofalo, Giada Giacomini, Alexandru Gociu, Susann Handke, Alina Holzhausen, Jannis Krüßmann, Konrad Lachmayer, Luc Lavrysen, Ander Maglica, Marjan Peeters, Suryapratim Roy, Rhonson Salim, Joschka Schlake, Hendrik Schoukens, Jillian Sprenger, Patrick Thieffry, Maria Antonia Tigre, Marijn van der Sluis, Marta Zamorska and Alan Żukowski.


Technical info
More Information
Type of product Book
Format Paperback
EAN / ISSN 9781839704567 / 9781839703850
Weight 600 g
Status Available
Number of pages 406 p.
Access to exercice No
Publisher Intersentia
Language English
Publication Date Jan 16, 2024
Available on Jurisquare No
Available on Strada Belgique No
Available on Strada Europe No
Available on Strada Luxembourg No


  • Table of Contents and Front Matter
  • Climate Change Litigation in Europe: An Introduction to Regional,Comparative and Sectoral Perspectives
  • Climate Change Litigation in the Courts in Europe
  • Climate Change Litigation before European Regional Courts: An Expert Discussion
  • Climate Change Litigation in Europe: Comparative Perspectives
  • The Constitutional Context of Climate Change Litigation: A Comparative Analysis of Germany and Austria
  • Taking People v. Arctic Oil Seriously: The Potential of Strategic Environmental Assessments and the Principle of Non-Regressionin Guiding Energy Policy
  • Climate Change and Migration: A Socio-Legal Approach to Understanding Europe’s Responsibilities Toward Climate Migrants
  • Human Rights-Based Climate Litigation and Indigenous Peoples:Comparative Perspectives and New Trends for Climate Justice in Europe
  • From Rights-Based Claims to Climate Justice: An Uneasy Path – Limits and Prospects to Align Climate Litigation to Justice in Europe
  • State Obligations to Reduce Carbon Emissions: Using their ‘Carbon Reduction Potential’ Instead of Territorial Emissions as a Yardstick
  • Climate Change as a Constitutional Topic: Environmental Constitutionalismin the Netherlands and the EU
  • Shifting Principles of Climate Cooperation: A Court Ruling on Intergenerational Justice as Inspiration for the UN Climate Regime
  • Strategic Climate Litigation in Poland: In Search of a Proper Socio-Legal Communication before Courts
  • Procedural Improvements Aiming at Investment Arbitration’s Greater Social Acceptability
  • Closed Doors in Luxembourg? Climate Change Litigation before the CJEU in a ‘Complete System of Remedies’
  • Harnessing Public Participation in the EU Taxonomy Regulation Delegated Acts: Mobilising Sustainable Investments and Mobilising People
  • Project Review, Fossil Infrastructure and Climate Change: The Flemish Petrol Station Case as an Unexpected Breakthrough?
  • Collective Redress and Climate Change Litigation in the EU:A Promising Future or More of the Same?
  • Climate Change Class Actions in Europe? The Italian Perspective
  • From State to Corporate Liability in Climate Litigation: How Can Urgenda-Type Cases Inform the Responsibility of Private Companiesto Mitigate Climate Change?
  • The Liability of Financial Institutions for Climate Change: Legal Mechanisms and Principles for Assessing the Financial Industry’sResponsibility for Global Warming
  • Conclusion: Climate Change Litigation in Europe – The Way Forward
  • Index