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Just transition litigation in Latin America: New report with the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

Wed 18 January 2023

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Edinburgh Law School PhD students, Lorena Zenteno and Pedro Cisterna-Gaete, have co-authored a report for the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University on just transition litigation in Latin America.

About the report

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.

About the authors

The report, entitled Just Transition Litigation in Latin America: an initial categorization of climate litigation cases amid the energy transition, was written by Maria Antonia Tigre (Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School), Lorena Zenteno (University of Edinburgh, rapporteur for Chile), Marlies M.E. Hesselman (University of Groningen, rapporteur for the Netherlands and UN Special Procedures), Natalia Urzola (Global Network for Human Rights and the Environment, rapporteur for Colombia), Pedro Cisterna-Gaete (University of Edinburgh, rapporteur for the Inter-American System of Human Rights), Riccardo Luporini (Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, rapporteur for Italy).

Read the full report