Law and Regulation

Law and regulation bring about widescale change at both national and international levels. The legal sector is still developing its approach to climate change; with most momentum stemming from civil society and a small, but growing, number of lawyers and activists.

We are a small but nimble funder in this area and support:

    • Early-stage organisations working on innovative, potentially catalytic interventions.
    • Laying the groundwork for future legal interventions, such as commissioning legal opinions or research to hasten legal interventions.

Grantees we have supported under this focus area:

Uplift

Uplift aims to support and energise the movement for a just and fossil-free UK.

It led the legal challenge to the Oil and Gas Authority’s latest Strategy which supports the production of uneconomic North Sea oil and gas. The High Court ruled against them in January 2022, but during the case they did get the UK Government to admit that it is using public money to prop up the oil and gas industry.

Uplift led the recent campaign against the Cambo North Sea Oil Field. This led to Shell and Siccar Point Energy, the two companies backing Cambo, to announce that they are pausing their involvement. The Scottish government renounced Cambo and came out in support of a climate test on all new oil and gas projects.

Global Legal Action Network (GLAN)

GLAN pursues innovative legal actions against states and other powerful actors involved with human rights violations.

In September 2020 it filed an application at the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of six children and young adults from Portugal against thirty-three governments for failing to take urgent action on climate change. The case argues that the production and use of fossil fuels are contrary to human rights and if the Court agrees it will have huge international ramifications. The Court has recognised importance of the case and fast-tracked it; it will be heard in early 2023.

Client Earth

ClientEarth is an environmental organisation that use the power of law to protect life on earth.

Its ‘Climate Finance Initiative’ aims to ensure that public and private financial institutions (such as banks, insurance companies and pension funds) adopt of legal and regulatory frameworks which hold them accountable to the goals of the Paris Agreement and drive sustainable investment.

Together with other partners, it managed to get the new Pension Schemes Act 2021 to reference climate change risks.