Climate Change Litigation
Is your business at risk?
What does climate change litigation involve?
Climate change is the headline issue of our age, impacting on every section of society. All types of organisations, in all industry sectors, will be affected.
Climate change litigation covers all claims in which climate change is a core issue or a motivating factor to the legal dispute, including cases brought by a range of claimants, e.g. the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Trading Standards, activists, states, cities, investors, insurance companies, NGOs and groups of individuals, including minors. Every day claims are being framed across a broad spectrum of legal actions, such as actions by Trading Standards and the CMA, human rights, public law, statutory planning regimes, corporate law, fiduciary duties and tort.
Climate change litigation is anticipated to grow as more and varied claims are pursued. To the start of 2023, there were over 2,000 climate-related cases brought worldwide. To date such cases have primarily targeted governments, but increasingly litigation is targeting corporates including in the sectors of fossil fuel, food, agriculture, transport, manufacturing and finance. In addition, ‘climate-washing’ cases that aim to hold organisations to account for their actions or products that misleadingly claim to address climate change are on the increase.
Many businesses which have set net zero targets are seeking to address these collaboratively with businesses in the same sectors and this can give rise to competition law issues to which the CMA may turn its eye.
We also anticipate that measures intended to combat climate change, such as carbon offset schemes, will come under more scrutiny from members and regulators, be the subject of future claims and that local authorities and corporates declaring ‘net zero’ targets will be held to account.
Why choose our expertise?
At Freeths, we recognise that climate change and associated litigation can affect all individuals and businesses. That is why we have brought together experienced and expert lawyers from different disciplines into a single group to provide comprehensive advice and representation to those affected, and why our experts work with a wide range of scientific and technical experts.
- Commercial litigators with experience in dealing with claims from activists and other stakeholders and a detailed understanding of shareholder disputes
- Experts in intellectual property & media adept at handling greenwashing claims and reputation management
- A dedicated Clean Energy, Waste and Sustainability practice
- Environmental and planning lawyers and our Natural Capital team
Our teams also help clients in all sectors to decarbonise, improve their sustainability, reduce their energy consumption and emissions, manage their waste, and address the ‘green agenda” – while avoiding the actions that could lead to climate change litigation. Our ESG lawyers also advise clients on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors and how these impact their businesses.
Our climate change litigation specialists can help if you are:
- Seeking to ensure that your marketing activity does not fall foul of the Advertising Standards Agency or Competition Markets Authority or Trading Standards rules.
- A business under pressure from shareholder groups.
- A shareholder seeking to ensure that a company reflects the challenges posed by climate change.
- Interested in joining or have concerns about carbon-offset schemes.
- Marketing a product or process to ensure that it is not misleading with regards claims relating to climate.
- Concerned that your insurance will assist in the event of a claim.
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We advise on all types of climate change issues, including:
- Risk management in avoiding/responding to allegations of greenwashing.
- Claims relating to carbon offsetting.
- Allegations against professional advisors relating to climate change.
- Shareholders pursuing claims against companies/boards of directors.
Wider clean energy, waste & sustainability offering
The climate change litigation team is part of Freeths’ wider Clean Energy, Waste & Sustainability group, which advises on all aspects of renewable energy generation, heat networks, energy storage, energy from waste, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, electricity offtake and supply, asset aggregation and optimisation, waste reduction and re-use.
Climate Change Litigation Lawyers
0345 126 3775
0345 128 6950
0345 030 5859
0345 030 5781
0345 030 5820
0345 634 2584
0345 077 9582
Kirstin Roberts FCIWM
0345 166 6299
0345 166 6312
0345 128 6979
0345 077 9612
‘Doing the right thing’ is at the heart of Freeths. Find out more about our excellent client service and the strong set of values that guide the way we work.
Talk to us
Freeths are a leading national law firm with 13 offices across the UK. If you have a query about our services or just want to find out more, why not give us a call?
Contact: 03301 001 014