Climate and Environment

The climate emergency and environmental degradation are defining challenges of our time. They constitute an existential threat to the rights of present and future generations and to life on Earth writ large. To address this, the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ) engages in work at the intersection of environmental justice, climate change, and global human rights with academic and civil society partners in the Global South and the Global North. Our work takes on a systemic, forward-looking, and interdisciplinary approach that seeks to hold governments and corporations accountable for climate and environmental harms as well as amplify the voices of those most affected by them, from indigenous peoples to marginalized communities to future generations.

CHRGJ combines academic research and training, capacity building, advocacy, and strategic litigation to accelerate action on the climate emergency. It also works to redress harms generated by extractive industries and hold corporations engaged in extractive activities accountable for human rights abuses. Additionally, CHRGJ works to advance indigenous rights, including territorial rights, in regions and ecosystems like the Amazon, whose survival is essential to that of the planet.  The recognition that vulnerable regions and communities disproportionately bear the brunt of global warming and environmental degradation drives all of CHRGJ’s activities in this line of work.

CHRGJ spearheads these efforts in collaboration with partners around the world, including research centers, scientists, human rights and environmental NGOs, indigenous peoples, rural communities, and social movement organizations.

Current Projects

The Climate Litigation Accelerator (CLX) forms a central component of CHRGJ’s work on climate change and the environment. CLX helps advocacy and litigation efforts attain the speed and scale necessary to spur action on the climate emergency within the limited timeframe left to avoid triggering extreme scenarios of global warming. CLX conducts cutting-edge, comparative socio-legal research on rights-based climate litigation and serves as a collaborative hub for climate litigators, scholars, and advocates around the world. CLX aims to radically increase the impact and urgency of climate litigation by identifying gaps in existing practice, connecting litigants and experts in different fields (from climate science to strategic communications to climate economics), and spearheading and supporting climate lawsuits and other forms of advocacy.

Ongoing and Upcoming Work

As part of its role as a collaborative hub, CLX hosts regular public webinars and strategic workshops. Leading climate change and human rights organizations, practitioners, scholars, and advocates from different regions comprise this community of practice and engage in collaborative strategizing. The events provide spaces for inter-disciplinary dialogue and learning, case workshopping and development, and catalyzing collaborations on legal actions. Recent community of practice webinars have focused on using climate change and human rights litigation to hold corporations accountable for climate harms and on the implications of COVID-19 for climate litigation.

As part of its knowledge production and capacity building work, CLX publishes original research by scholars and practitioners from the Global South and North. Recent publications include a blog series on “Litigating the Climate Emergency” in OpenGlobalRights and a forthcoming volume on the same topic.

Arpitha Kodiveri
Affiliate, Climate Litigation Accelerator
Carlos Andrés Baquero-Díaz
Research Assistant
César Rodríguez-Garavito
CHRGJ Director
Délton Winter de Carvalho
Affiliate, Climate Litigation Accelerator
Flavio Siqueira
Affiliate, Climate Litigation Accelerator
Jacqueline Gallant
Legal Fellow
Maïmouna Jallow
Affiliate, Climate Litigation Accelerator
Sasha Purcell
Human Rights Scholar
Related Events
December 3, 2020
Disaster Capitalism and the Climate Emergency: Lessons from Barbuda
View Event
November 5, 2020
Saving the Amazon through Human Rights Litigation? The Climate Fund & Amazon Fund Cases Before the Brazilian Supreme Court
View Event
September 24, 2020
Holding Fossil Fuel Companies Accountable: Lessons Learned from the Carbon Majors Inquiry in the Philippines
View Event

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