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

University of Groningen Faculty of Law Research Paper No.9/2023

58 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2023 Last revised: 13 Jul 2023

See all articles by Maria Antonia Tigre

Maria Antonia Tigre

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School

Lorena Zenteno

University of Edinburgh

Marlies Hesselman

University of Groningen - Faculty of Law

Natalia Urzola

Global Network for Human Rights and the Environment

Pedro Cisterna-Gaete

University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Law School

Riccardo Luporini

Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies

Date Written: January 3, 2023

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Tigre, Maria Antonia and Zenteno, Lorena and Hesselman, Marlies and Urzola, Natalia and Cisterna-Gaete, Pedro and Luporini, Riccardo, Just Transition Litigation in Latin America: An Initial Categorization of Climate Litigation Cases Amid the Energy Transition (January 3, 2023). 2023 Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School, University of Groningen Faculty of Law Research Paper No.9/2023, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4317186 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4317186

Maria Antonia Tigre (Contact Author)

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School ( email )

Jerome Greene Hall
435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://climate.law.columbia.edu/directory/dr-maria-antonia-tigre

Lorena Zenteno

University of Edinburgh ( email )

Marlies Hesselman

University of Groningen - Faculty of Law ( email )

9700 AS Groningen
Netherlands

Natalia Urzola

Global Network for Human Rights and the Environment ( email )

Pedro Cisterna-Gaete

University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Law School ( email )

Edinburgh
Great Britain

Riccardo Luporini

Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies ( email )

Piazza Martiri della Liberta, 33
Pisa, PI 56127
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.santannapisa.it/en/riccardo-luporini

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