Symposium: Strategic Litigation and Climate Equality

Symposium Date: September or October 2024 (Exact date TBD)

Click here to download the call for papers.

Please send in your paper title, abstract (max 300 words), and a short bio paragraph by Thursday 28 March to We will respond by the end of April with event details and program.


Call For Papers:

Litigation on climate change is occurring around the world at national, regional and international levels. Many of these cases raise equality issues pointing to the unequal impacts of climate change on a range of vulnerable groups, but equality law arguments are not always front and center in these cases. Some of the litigation demands that governments and polluters act to mitigate the harms that are contributing to the climate emergency experienced by, or that will be experienced by, groups such as young people, older persons, Indigenous peoples and people with disabilities. Other cases demand adaptation measures that address these harms in ways that respond to the needs of intersecting groups such as women, racialized groups, LGBTQI+ people, low-income communities and migrants.

A prominent example of a mitigation case is Verein KlimaSeniorinnen Schweiz and Others v. Switzerland, currently before the European Court of Human Rights, that focuses on the circumstances of older women who are physiologically at greater risk of harm in higher temperatures resulting from climate change. Adaptation cases might include equality or non-discrimination arguments within challenges to city housing laws, transport policy, disaster responses or social security rules, etc.

It is an important moment to share examples of such cases, evaluate the track record of this litigation, and consider how to address the disproportionate impacts of the climate crisis more effectively via climate litigation. This should also consider the impact of such litigation beyond the courtroom including both its potential and limitations in achieving tangible change. Such stock-taking can inform future strategy and chart new directions for strategic responses to climate inequality.

This symposium is focused on encouraging and enabling practitioners and scholars to exchange knowledge, expertise and strategic insights. We welcome papers on any of the following topics:

  • Case studies of climate litigation with an equality/non-discrimination focus – specific cases, thematic or comparative studies
  • The role of climate litigation in addressing the equality rights of specific groups (eg: women, people with disabilities, racialized groups, children, LGBTQI+ groups)
  • Examples of good practice in connecting climate equality litigation to other strategies 
  • Critical evaluation of the impact and value of climate equality litigation
  • New frontiers for climate equality litigation

Final dates and times to be advised based on the number of papers and whether we hold the event on one day or over multiple days to accommodate people in different time zones. The event will be fully online.