The Climate Litigation Network works with local partners to bring ground-breaking litigation to compel national governments to adopt ambitious climate plans.
The Climate Litigation Network (CLN) was established in 2015 following the landmark Urgenda climate case in the Netherlands. The case was the first time globally that a government was ordered to reduce its GHG emissions – representing a watershed moment for the climate justice movement.
To harness the ground-breaking legal strategy and expertise developed in bringing this case, the Urgenda Foundation set up CLN to inspire, incubate and support other cases against governments around the world.
Advance climate justice
Empower local communities
Drive systemic change
Climate change is here now. Ecosystems are collapsing at an unprecedented rate. Vast regions of the world are becoming uninhabitable. Billions of people are facing the prospect of a dangerous and uncertain future. Yet, despite global consensus that we must slash emissions, our governments are failing to protect us.
CLN works with local partners to bring litigation to force governments to adopt Paris-aligned climate plans. There are now over 80 cases against governments around the world.
This litigation has a track record of success, leading to real-world emissions reductions and widespread community mobilisation. For example:
The Dutch Climate Case led the Dutch Government to massively reduce its reliance on coal power plants and invest billions in accelerating the energy transition.
The successful Irish Climate Case led to an overhaul of Ireland’s weak climate policy and inspired grassroots mobilisation across the country.
In Germany, the Federal Government significantly ramped up its climate targets, just two weeks after an order from the country’s highest court in the Neubauer Climate Case.
In France, over 2.3 million people signed the petition in support of the French Climate Case – making it the largest online petition in French history.
Following a ruling from the Supreme Court, the Nepalese Government adopted new legislation aimed at fighting climate change while tackling localised environmental damages.
Communities are taking their governments to court – in their own words:
“Our people have lived on these islands for more than 65,000 years. But if the government doesn’t change course, our homes could disappear beneath the rising seas, making us Australia’s first climate change refugees.”
Uncle Paul and Uncle Pabai, First Nations leaders in the Torres Strait Islands, are bringing the Australian Climate Case.
“The truth is that South Korea’s emissions are not falling fast enough, and this is definitely not the best effort the government could be making to save our future.”
Yujin Kim, a member of Youth 4 Climate Action (Y4CA), is bringing the South Korean Climate Case, together with 18 fellow youth activists.
“The choices made by the State, disguised as green slogans, continue to perpetrate the same logic of the past years: State climate action has never been comprehensive or consistent in the face of the gravity of the situation.”
Silvia Ferrante, environmental educator, is bringing the Italian Climate Case together with more than 200 plaintiffs, including her husband Luca and their son Libero.
Senior Legal Associate
Filippo P. Fantozzi
Dennis van Berkel
September 14, 2023
Young people to take 32 European countries to court over climate policies