Lawsuits for insufficient climate action (or climate litigation), brought against administrative authorities (national, sub-national) or private actors (companies in particular), are multiplying around the world: nearly 2,000 cases are currently listed by the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law! The latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on climate change mitigation, published in April 2022, has for the first time echoed this trend–a heavy one–towards the judicialization of climate governance (no less than 130 mentions in the report), underlining in particular its potential in terms of accountability. Many actors have indeed made commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or to achieve carbon neutrality, but these commitments are difficult to meet; through legal action, actors are called upon, particularly by civil society, to be accountable, to explain shortcomings in implementation and, ultimately, to give credibility to the stated ambition.
During this event co-organized by IDDRI and the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Marta Torre Schaub, Associate Researcher at IDDRI, specialist in climate justice, analyzed the new impetus that the IPCC could give to climate justice claims, more particularly in the international framework of the Paris Climate Agreement, while Margaretha Wewerinke-Singh, Assistant Professor of Public International Law, Leiden University and Adjunct Senior Lecturer in Environmental Law, University of the South Pacific, focussed her intervention on the legal actions led by Small Island Developing States (more particularly Vanuatu), particularly affected by climate change and with little means to fight against its impacts. The event was moderated by Lola Vallejo, Director of IDDRI's Climate Program.