Fossil Fuel Litigation: The Context, The Science, The Cases
Individuals and groups opposing new and existing fossil fuel projects are increasingly turning to litigation as a means by which to halt or dismantle these projects. This informal discussion will provide context for coal litigation in Australia and the opportunities and challenges – legal, factual and evidentiary – it presents. We will discuss advances in attribution science and the role climate scientists play in fossil fuel litigation. We will also introduce a new initiative that aims to streamline the process of establishing facts about the net impacts of proposed fossil fuel projects on greenhouse gas emissions, which are typically contested in such litigation.
- Dr Fergus Green is a Lecturer in Political Theory & Public Policy in the Department of Political Science and School of Public Policy, University College London.
- Ella Vines is a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne researching whether the Paris Agreement is creating legal pathways to halt or phase out coal extraction and consumption in Australia under the supervision of professors Margaret Young and Jacqueline Peel.
- Rebecca Nelson is an Associate Professor of the Melbourne Law School, and Director of the Centre for Resources, Energy and Environmental Law.
- David Karoly is an internationally recognised expert on climate change and climate variability and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science. He is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Melbourne, having retired from the CSIRO Climate Science Centre in January 2022. He became a part-time Councillor on the Climate Council in September 2022.