Politicians are failing to deliver climate justice. Lawyers and scientists could do it in court

November 25, 2021 at 11:43

On Thursday morning, three young climate activists in the United Kingdom will challenge its High Court to hear a case in which they hope to turn that around.
A campaign poster showing climate activists, from left, Marina Tricks, Adetola Stephanie Onamade and Jerry Amokwandoh, who are trying to sue the UK government.
"[The court] dismissed the idea that our family life included our family around the world, or our family back home," Amokwandoh told CNN.
"We are ultimately being screwed over by the system, by this government, because of its funding of the climate crisis," Tricks said.
Globally, the number of climate change-related legal cases has more than doubled since 2015, according to the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics.
Science finally gets its say in courtClimate scientists have long bemoaned the huge gap between science and political action.
"Courts are looking at what the science is saying, they're given more and more weight to reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)," Hare said, referring to the landmark UN climate science report published every six to seven years.
"Climate change kills people.
Otto also leads the World Weather Attribution project, which is one a group of scientists who use modeling and data analysis to estimate just how much climate change contributed to an extreme weather event.
There is no dedicated international court for climate crimes, for example, and even the ICC has its limitations.
ClientEarth, a non-profit organization that provides legal services and advice in climate cases, has had several successes, including a 2020 case that led to Poland halting the construction of a coal plant.
"Climate change is inherently unequal: its impacts -- such as droughts, heatwaves flooding, and rising seas -- are felt most in those countries least responsible.

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