27 September 2021

New PhD project on Climate Change Litigation and the Energy Sector

Pernille Holten Poulsen joins CILG as a PhD Fellow. Her research will be carried out under the supervision of Associate Professor Beatriz Martinez Romera and Professor Kristian Cedervall Lauta, and it will look into climate change litigation involving the energy sector. Specifically, it will explore the tort and corporate law litigation strategies, which rely on respectively the duty to not create harm and the corporations’ disclosure obligations, in attempts to argue that the private sector can be held liable for climate change.

Through a case law analysis, the research will explore the hurdles facing the two litigation strategies, thereby delving into topics such as the boundaries of the judiciary (the separation of powers doctrine), the causation requirement, and disclosure obligations. Next, the research will examine how climate change can be framed as a legal claim in light of advances in climate change detection/attribution science and developments in corporate law/CSR, international policy, and public opinion.

The greater aim of the research is to examine the role of the energy sector and the judiciary in mitigating climate change. How will the law respond to climate change? To what degree will climate change influence the law as we know it?  And, in turn, what related risks and opportunities is the energy sector facing.