APCEL-Yale Law School Climate Change Litigation Scholarship Workshop

Back row (from left): Mr Daniel Hornung; Mr Conrado Cornelius; Dr Andri Wibisana; Dr Zhu Wang; Prof Zhu Yan; Mr Ketan Jha; Dr Jacques Hartmann; Mr Giuseppe Poderati
Centre row (from left): Ms Millicent McCreath; Ms Maria Sicangco; Ms Briony Eales; Professor Douglas Kysar; Assistant Professor Kim Bouwer; Dr Annalisa Savaresi; Mr Muhammad Wajid Munir
From row (from left): Ms Hui Pang; Professor Jacqueline Peel; Associate Professor Maizatun Mustafa; Dr Margaretha Wewerinke-Singh; Associate Professor Jolene Lin; Dr Yue Zhao; Ms Jiangfeng Li; Ms Fang Meng


As climate experts are speaking out more forcefully about the link between extreme weather and climate change while climate action is still lacking in many countries, more people are asking, “Can courts play a role in governing climate change? Should they?”

On 7 and 8 June 2018, APCEL and Yale Law School jointly organised a climate change litigation scholarship workshop. Bringing together researchers from the United States, Australia, Pakistan, China, Hong Kong, Vanuatu, the Philippines, Indonesia and the United Kingdom, the workshop discussion focused on exploring the role of the courts in adjudicating climate change, whether in terms of responsibility for mitigation and adaptation, or liability for climate-related harms. The researchers were invited to examine the potential as well as the limitations of climate litigation to serve as a regulatory pathway. A significant research question that emerged from the discussions was whether the prevailing thinking about climate litigation, which is heavily influenced by developments in the Global North, adequately captures climate change litigation developments in the Global South.

Professor Zhu Yan (Renmin University, China) presented an illuminating analysis of the potential for climate litigation in China, where there has been ambitious action by the national government to reduce China’s greenhouse gas emissions as well as adapt to climate change impacts. Professor Jacqueline Peel (Melbourne Law School, Australia) and Associate Professor Jolene Lin (Director, APCEL) presented the preliminary findings from their research project on climate adaptation litigation in Southeast Asia. Annalisa Savaresi (University of Stirling, UK) and Jacques Hartmann (University of Dundee, UK) shared their work on the “Carbon Majors Petition” which is being heard by the Philippines Human Rights Commission. Please click here for details of the other research papers presented at the workshop.

Welcome remarks by Professor Douglas Kysar, Joseph M. Field ’55 Professor of Law, Yale Law School

Associate Professor Jolene Lin, Director, APCEL, NUS Law