Global trends in climate litigation: 2021 snapshot

The report provides a synthesis of global trends in climate change litigation (or simply ‘climate litigation’), a growing global phenomenon. It updates on known case numbers, metrics and categorisations, and considers some of the most relevant trends in the arguments and strategies employed by litigants. The focus is on cases filed or concluded between May 2020 and May 2021. The report explores the continued growth in the number of ‘strategic’ cases, considering the use of litigation as a strategy by activists seeking to raise ambition on climate issues, as well as an increasing number of cases that seek to challenge or undermine climate-aligned policymaking. Critical trends in climate litigation against governments and the private sector brought since the Paris Agreement in 2015 are also reviewed and described. A selection of significant recent cases is used to illustrate the discussion.