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Showing 24 results

Karen Sokol | April 18, 2023

A Glimpse into More Equitable International Governance

On March 29, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly passed a landmark resolution asking the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for an advisory opinion on state obligations relating to climate change and the consequences of breaching them under several sources of international law, including the UN Charter, human rights treaties, and international customary law. The import of both the request and the opinion, however, is not just about Earth’s climate system and the extent of state obligations for protecting it; it is also about the potential for more equitable, just, and effective international governance.

Protestors holding a climate justice sign

Karen Sokol | December 14, 2022

What Comes After the Loss and Damage Fund for Responsibility and Repair in a Climate-Disrupted World?

Climate-driven geophysical shifts are driving geopolitical shifts that are putting increasing pressure on international law and global governance. The recent landmark decision to establish an international “loss and damage” fund offers a glimpse into the challenges and opportunities presented by these ongoing disruptions.

U.S. Capitol in the sunshine in late autumn

Alice Kaswan, Allison Stevens, Emily Hammond, Karen Sokol | November 22, 2022

How Will the Midterm Elections Affect Climate Justice? Member Scholars Offer Expert Insights

We asked our Member Scholars how the election outcomes will affect policy going forward in our three priority policy areas. Today’s post covers the implications for climate justice.

Karen Sokol | October 13, 2022

Climate and Conflict: Lessons from Fossil Fuel Industry Exploitation of Russia’s War in Ukraine

When Russia invaded Ukraine, Ukrainian climate scientist Svitlana Krakovska was working from her home with international colleagues to finalize the second installment of the latest report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “I started to think about the parallels between climate change and this war, and it’s clear that the roots of both these threats to humanity are found in fossil fuels,” she told The Guardian. “This is a fossil fuel war. It’s clear we cannot continue to live this way; it will destroy our civilization.”

Karen Sokol | March 4, 2022

Slate Op-Ed: Supreme Court Climate Skeptics Will Help Decide the Fate of the Planet

Last fall, on the same day that the parties to the Paris Agreement gathered in Glasgow for their first day of their annual international climate meeting, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would review an appellate court decision about the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's authority to regulate greenhouse gases from fossil fuel power plants under the Clean Air Act. Fast forward half a year: On February 28, the day that the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel Climate Change issued its sobering report on climate adaptation and harms to human and planetary well-being, the court heard oral arguments in the case -- West Virginia v. EPA. Once again, it was a split-screen reality.

Karen Sokol | February 21, 2022

Bloomberg Law Op-Ed: State Courts Should Hear Cities’ Climate Deception Lawsuits

On Jan. 25, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held oral argument in Baltimore v. BP PLC, a case in which the city is seeking to hold BP and other fossil fuel companies liable in state court for their systematic deceptive marketing campaign to hide the catastrophic dangers of their products. The goal of their decades-long, ongoing disinformation campaign: to lock in a fossil-fuel based society—and continue reaping astronomical profits—even during a fossil fuel-driven climate emergency. Other cities, counties, and states have brought similar suits in their state courts, all invoking long-standing state deceptive marketing laws. So why is Baltimore's case before a federal appellate court? The panel's three judges wanted to know—and the answer is more misrepresentation.

Karen Sokol | January 26, 2022

Slate Op-Ed: The Supreme Court’s Plan to Block Climate Action We Haven’t Even Taken Yet

On Feb. 28, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the first of an expected wave of cases challenging governmental action to address the climate crisis. The court’s grant of four petitions seeking review in this case -- two by coal companies and two by states -- portends that the six conservative justices will erect significant barriers to meaningful climate policy and will continue to interfere with democratic governance in disregard of the rule of law.

Karen Sokol | November 22, 2021

Fossil Fuel Industry Continues to Deny Climate Science & Climate Justice . . . Under Oath

During a historic hearing before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform on October 28, the executives of ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, BP, and the American Petroleum Institute (API), refused to admit to their decades-long climate disinformation campaign that is now well-documented in publicly available documents uncovered by journalists and researchers. If that weren’t enough, the executives continued to deny climate science under oath, albeit with a slight twist from their previous disinformation campaign. Instead of denying the science establishing that fossil fuels are driving the climate crisis, they’re now denying the science establishing the urgent need for a rapid transition away from fossil fuels. In other words, they’re still lying -- a strategy that was on full display in this blockbuster hearing.

Karen Sokol | August 18, 2021

Bloomberg Law Op-ed: IPCC Report Shows Urgent Need for Two International Climate Policies

The Interdisciplinary Panel on Climate Change report released Aug. 9 declared that evidence is now unequivocal that human activity is driving global warming, and immediate steps must be taken to mitigate profound changes. Karen C. Sokol, professor at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law and CPR Member Scholar, says two essential international policies must be taken -- ending fossil fuel production and providing communities with the resources to adapt.