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DRI’s Center for Law and Public Policy Issues Its Third Climate Change Hot Sheet”

  • Published September 27, 2018
    Modified July 09, 2020

Study Attempts to Identify Successful Strategies in Climate Change Litigation.

A first of its kind study, recently published in the peer reviewed journal, Nature Climate Change outlines the type of climate change lawsuits that are more likely to win or lose and why.

Researchers at George Washington University in Washington D.C. and New York University built and analyzed a database of 873 climate change-related lawsuits from 1990 through 2016, and conducted 78 in-depth interviews with litigants who were scientists, lawyers, and advocates about the legal strategies and the evidence they used.

The review found the majority of lawsuits were filed over air-quality concerns and coal-fired power plants by litigants seeking more regulation to curb emissions, but that many of those lawsuits failed. By contrast, the Courts favored pro-regulations litigants by a ratio of 2.6-1, where the lawsuits concerned energy efficiency or renewable energy.

A copy of the study can be found at the following link:

Sean W. Martin is a partner in the Chattanooga office of Carr Allison and is the current Chair of the DRI Center for Law and Public Policy's Climate Change Task Force. He can be reached at

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