Urgenda-Style Climate Litigation Has Promise in Australia

(2017) 32(3) Australian Environment Review 70

13 Pages Posted: 1 Dec 2018

See all articles by Tim Baxter

Tim Baxter

University of Melbourne, Law School, Students

Date Written: May 23, 2017

Abstract

In mid-2015, news of Urgenda’s purported success in holding the Dutch government to account for climate negligence travelled around the world. The case spawned renewed interest in climate litigation and has led to climate negligence cases being run or planned in many other countries. In Anglo-Australian jurisdictions, a direct analogue to the case — where the government is held to account in negligence — was largely dismissed as unworkable at the earliest stages. This was premature. Despite being on opposite sides of the civil/common law divide, the cross-pollination and convergent evolution of the Dutch and Anglo-Australian legal systems mean that the logic of the claim transfers well to the Anglo-Australian context using existing, but under-used, Australian laws.

Keywords: climate change, climate litigation, Urgenda, Australia, Negligence, Tort

JEL Classification: K13, K32

Suggested Citation

Baxter, Tim, Urgenda-Style Climate Litigation Has Promise in Australia (May 23, 2017). (2017) 32(3) Australian Environment Review 70. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3277140

Tim Baxter (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne, Law School, Students ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria
Australia

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