'Next generation' climate change litigation in Australia

Jacqueline Peel, Hari M. Osofsky, Anita Foerster

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review


Since the conclusion and entry into force of the Paris Agreement and the high-profile Urgenda case, possibilities for exploring new avenues of strategic climate change litigation in Australia have received considerable attention. To date, most Australian cases have involved administrative challenges to projects under environmental laws to have climate change impacts taken into account. While this ‘first generation’ of cases has achieved significant results, there is increasing interest in taking forward a ‘next generation’ of cases that have a broader focus on holding governments and corporations directly accountable for the climate change implications of their actions. This chapter explores the contours of next-generation climate change litigation in Australia, including the drivers for these lawsuits and the potential legal avenues by which they might be brought. Rather than abandoning first-generation challenges — which have targeted Australia’s principal sources of greenhouse gas emissions such as coal-fired power stations and coal mines — we argue that the most fruitful strategy for future climate change litigation in Australia is one that continues to advance lower risk cases building from existing litigation, while simultaneously attempting novel approaches.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationClimate Change Litigation in the Asia Pacific
EditorsJolene Lin, Douglas A. Kysar
Place of PublicationCambridge UK
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages32
ISBN (Electronic)9781108777810
ISBN (Print)9781108478465
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • climate change litigation

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