In this timely book, Dr. Pau de Vilchez explores what are the reasons for that success, providing a detailed analysis on the legal tapestry underpinning these cases. Based on the study of 20 cases from 17 different countries from all continents, the book identifies three main legal grounds and a key evidentiary element that provide the core justification of most of these cases. First, the international climate regime, especially the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement. Secondly, environmental law principles, like precaution, prevention, inter and intragenerational equity and environmental impact assessment. Thirdly, human rights. Dr. de Vilchez explores each of these legal grounds, starting with an analysis of their legal value through customary and treaty law, as well as jurisprudence and scholar analysis, and then assessing the specific role played by each of these grounds in climate litigation.
The key evidentiary element behind these cases is science, which has an essential role to play in identifying the problem, its causes and consequences, as well as the measures to be taken to address it, but which also presents several challenges when considered in a court of justice. The book also explores other challenges confronted by many climate suits like standing or the separation of powers.
Overall, the book provides a compelling argument for the recognition of the duty of states to provide an appropriate, science-based response to human-made global warming and delivers and excellent analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the recent wave of climate litigation. It will certainly be a valuable resource for both scholars and practitioners working on climate change, the environment, human rights or energy issues.