Just Transition Litigation in Latin America: An Initial Categorization of Climate Litigation Cases Amid the Energy Transition
2023 Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School
58 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2023 Last revised: 13 Jul 2023
Date Written: January 3, 2023
Just transition litigation is a novel field representing a sub-set of climate change litigation cases that is under-researched and studied. The report provides a novel comparative analysis of legal developments found in 20 just transition litigation cases in four Latin American countries and questions whether initiatives for achieving energy transformation in the region may have erred in failing to consider key just transition principles or dimensions, leading applicants to bring legal cases to claim their rights or demand more just solutions. The cases found – limited to the energy sector – not only question decarbonization policies or projects (in typical anti-climate cases) but also challenge subsidies to fossil fuels or other incentives contrary to a just transition. Based on this subset of cases, the report proposes an initial categorization of just transition litigation. This report concludes with initial lessons on the study of just transition litigation in Latin America for litigators, judges, and scholars while also suggesting a research agenda to complement the gaps in the existing knowledge of this field.
Keywords: just transition, climate change litigation, decarbonization, climate change, energy, rights-based litigaation
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