Within the international climate regime, legal aspects surrounding loss and damage (L&D) are contentious topics, implicating liability, compensation and notions of vulnerability. The attribution of responsibility and the pursuit of redress for L&D present intricate legal and governance challenges. The ongoing debates under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change are characterized by a pronounced North–South divide and have done little to provide tangible support to those most affected by L&D. This apparent neglect has prompted exploration of alternative avenues for climate harm redress. The burgeoning field of litigation for liability and compensation of climate harm holds potential significance for L&D discourse, but its efficacy, especially in compensation claims relating to the adverse effects of climate change, is uncertain. There is, as yet, no precedent of plaintiffs succeeding in an L&D case, with numerous legal, evidentiary and practical barriers persisting, particularly for Global South plaintiffs aiming to hold Northern governments and actors accountable. This article scrutinizes recent advances in climate litigation and their potential to facilitate or obstruct L&D litigation. Focusing on seminal L&D cases, namely, Lliuya v RWE and Asmania et al v Holcim, we present a novel legal critique of climate litigation's capacity to assist climate-vulnerable States, populations and communities in pursuing redress for L&D, based on pertinent case law and an examination of overarching issues of attribution and extraterritorial jurisdiction.
Comparative and Foreign Law | Environmental Law | International Law | Law
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Tigre, MA, Wewerinke-Singh, M. Beyond the North–South Divide: Litigation's Role in Resolving Climate Change Loss and Damage Claims. RECIEL. 2023; 1-14. doi:10.1111/reel.12517
Available at: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/sabin_climate_change/209