As recently reported by Columbia Law School's Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, “the number of climate-related cases filed globally each year has increased from a handful in the early 2000s to a few hundred annually since 2020.”  And “most . . . are filed in courts in the United States, followed by Australia and the United Kingdom.”  Indeed, demonstrating the increased salience of these issues, there was a recent conference connected with the Environmental Law Institute's Climate Judiciary Project that sought “to provide judges with educational resources on climate science and how climate change is arising in the law.” 

Irrespective of whether this development is viewed positively or negatively, it cannot be questioned that the number of lawsuits featuring allegations concerning climate change (in one fashion or another) has increased markedly.  Indeed, one aspect of this rise in climate-related litigation has been litigation concerning recently enacted governmental regulations regarding climate change, further demonstrating the increasing importance of legal developments in this area.

Corporations should be prepared for the prospect of litigation regarding their activities (or lack thereof) regarding climate change and mitigating its effects, as this type of case appears to be increasingly appealing to plaintiffs' attorneys.