Latest from the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law Webinar Series

IUCN WCEL WEbinar Series (blog, Jun 18, 2020) (photo: Jordan Grider, Unsplash)

18 June 2020 | Amsterdam, NL – The latest webinar organized by the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL) took place earlier this month and focused on the topic of climate change.


[Author: Carmel McNamara, IOS Press]

Amsterdam, NL – The latest webinar organized by the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL) took place earlier this month and focused on the topic of climate change. The expert panel was chaired by Christina Voigt, DJ, a professor at the University of Oslo, the IUCN WCEL Climate Change Specialist Group Chair, and Editorial Board member of Environmental Policy and Law. This was fourth webinar in a new series that was launched by IUCN WCEL in April.

IUCN WCEL Webinar 4, flyer visual


Climate Change in the Courts

On World Environment Day on June 5, Dr. Voigt moderatedf the 'Climate Change in the Courts' webinar and was joined by a number of experts in the field for an inspiring discussion. The panel consisted of: Chistina Voigt, DJ (University of Oslo, Norway); Joana Setzer, PhD (London School of Economics and Political Science, UK); César Rodríguez-Garavito, PhD (New York University School of Law, USA); Tessa Khan, BCL (Climate Litigation Network, UK); and Michael Gerrard, JD (Columbia Law School, USA).

In a short introduction, Denise Antolini, JD (WCEL Deputy Chair and professor at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa) explained that this educational webinar series was initially launched 'to keep the important momentum going during this time, to share expertise and to continute to push forward for a just transformation of law and policy.' Dr. Voigt then led the discussion, outlining the complex challenge of climate change issues that we are seeing –  with a diverse range of existing cases, for example those being brought against governments and companies to take effective action against climate change (read about a recent Dutch case here) – and directing the dicsussion on such topics as legistlation for the rights of future generations, global trends in climate litigation, and looking ahead to see where climate litigation might be heading with discussion of the potential opportunities and challenges.The 2-hour webinar was summed up in Dr. Voigt's closing remarks: 'We share a common and urgent concern about climate change...As lawyers, we are trained in a particular discipline and we must do what we can. Law is an important tool and leverage in the climate fight. As environmental lawyers we can contribute through teaching, academic writing, practicing law, making the laws. Today, we have had a chance to reflect, discuss, analyse, and from here to look ahead and to think about what we can do and what needs to be done better in the future.'

A full recording of the webinar can be viewed here:

Discover more about the IUCN WCEL Climate Change Group here

The webinar series provides a platform for engaging discussions on a range of topics between environmental law and policy experts from around the world. Launched as it was during a global pandemic, the series' first few webinars focused on this issue. Experts were brought together in a virtual meeting, discussing online such matters as environmental law tools for addressing pandemics and looking at global wildlife trade law to consider if CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna nd Flora) could help prevent pandemics.

Upcoming IUCN WECL Webinars:

WCEL Webinar 5 (July 17)
Judges as Guardians of Water Resources: The Brasília Declaration of Judges on Water Justice

Possible Future WCEL Webinar 5 (August 14)
Are Multilateral Environmental Agreements effective for ocean conservation in the Asia-Pacific Region? 

For more information and for a chance to view recordings of all previous webinars, visit the website here.