Suing states: the role of courts in promoting states’ responsibility for climate change

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In the era of climate change, decisive action is needed from States. However, it is dismaying to see the lack of ambitious efforts in climate treaty negotiations, which is reflected down- stream in the ambiguous nature of non-binding or soft mitigation obligations. In that light, this article argues that courts can be agents of change and pressure States, cum grano salis, to take decisive action. Domestic courts may be better positioned to compel States to adopt stringent mitigation measures, but all courts (international or domestic, general or specialised) may press for regulation or assess regulation. In both cases, courts are helpful in mapping States’ obligations under interna- tional law (including, but not exclusively, the UNFCCC legal framework).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBlue planet law
Subtitle of host publicationthe ecology of our economic and technological world
EditorsMaria da Glória Garcia, António Cortês
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9783031248887
ISBN (Print)9783031248870, 9783031248900
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

Publication series

Name Sustainable Development Goals Series
ISSN (Print)2523-3084
ISSN (Electronic)2523-3092


  • Climate change
  • Courts
  • International responsibility
  • Mitigation obligations


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