There have been no cases against private actors for climate-related damages.
One reason for this is the lack of specific climate laws. However, based on the existing environmental case-law, potential grounds on which private climate litigation might be based are:
- Constitutional Grounds: In 2008, the civil Chamber of the Court of Appeals decided caseNo. 22?-1089/08 regarding the alleged violation of the constitutional rights to life and to a healthy environment of a family living in the vicinities of a mine (“Vizeyska”) maintained by a state enterprise. The civil court recognized that the enterprise had violated the family’s constitutional rights by failing to diligently maintain the mine and failing to resettle the family.
- National Environmental Law: The Court of Appeals in case No. 22?-1089/08 upheld the decision taken by the civil court in the first instance on national environmental law grounds. The main legal grounds were the alleged violation of several environmental laws, including the Land Code of Ukraine, the state sanitary rules on planning and building of settlements, and the law on atmospheric protection.
Remedies: in the previous case law, complainants suing private actors over environmental damage have been seeking for both injunctive (i.e., ending damaging activities) and compensatory relief. In the environmental lawsuit concerning the Vizeyska mine, the plaintiffs requested to put an end to the activity of the mine, as well as moral damage and sanctions for the inability to perform ordinary activities. The Court acknowledged that the state enterprise had violated the law by failing to organize adequate sanitary zones and resettle the family. Moreover, it provided compensation for the moral damage.
For more country specific context and relevant national climate change law see: https://climate-laws.org/geographies/ukraine
This country report has been produced by Carlotta Garofalo, C2LI Research Assistant, Humzah Khan, C2LI Senior Research Assistant and Kate McKenzie, C2LI Legal Analyst. This summary is based on Mariia Muravska, “Climate Change Litigation in Ukraine” in F. Sindico and M. Moise Mbengue, Comparative Climate Change Litigation: Beyond the Usual Suspects, Springer, 2021.