Climate Change and the National Courts
By Richard B Macrory, on 4 December 2015
Over 100 people attended a packed conference held in London on December 1 at Mishcon de Reya LLP, and hosted by UK Environmental Law Association, Planning & Environment Bar Association, and Constitutional & Administrative Law Bar Association. The focus of the event was on the potential role of national courts in climate change issues. Any agreement that results from the current Paris negotiations on climate change will centre on bottom up national reductions plans (termed by the UN as ‘Intended Nationally Determined Contributions’), and this suggests that national courts may play a stronger role in the future in ensuring their effective implementation. Speakers included Tom Burke, Visiting Professor, UCL; Sarah Kohl (Department of Energy and Climate Change); Professor Richard Macrory, Centre for Law and the Environment, UCL; and Lord Carnwath, Supreme Court, with James Maurici QC chairing. Professor Macrory considered the UK Climate Change Act 2008 and the extent to which its provisions could be justiciable in the courts.