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In recent years, climate litigation has become an important subject of global scholarly and policy interest. However, developments within the Global South, particularly in Africa, have been largely neglected.

This volume brings together an international team of contributors to provide a much-needed examination of climate litigation in Africa. The book outlines how climate litigation in Africa is distinct as well as pinpointing where it connects with the global conversation. Chapters engage with crucial themes such as human rights approaches to climate governance, corporate liability and the role of gender in climate litigation.

Spanning a range of approaches and jurisdictions, the book challenges universal concepts around climate and the role of activism (including litigation) in seeking to advance climate governance.

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Introduction Climate change has disproportionate adverse consequences on populations, including those within Africa. 1 Nigeria, for instance, faces extreme climate change events, 2 with significant adverse consequences on agriculture and food security, 3 health, 4 and energy, 5 among others. These have implications for the realization of rights, 6 and may trigger future rise in rights-based climate litigation on behalf of the public in Nigeria. 7 Under international human rights law, states have the duty to ‘respect’, ‘protect’ and ‘fulfil’ human

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Introduction Despite a lack of consensus over the meaning and types of climate litigation, the number of climate cases worldwide is on the rise. Across domestic courts in Africa, climate cases have been decided in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya, with some cases pending before the domestic courts in South Africa and Uganda. These cases mainly involve a direct reference to climate change in the framing of parties’ claims. It is, however, possible that a broad consideration of domestic cases involving the environmental impact of hydrocarbon exploration and

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Introduction This chapter asserts a risk-thematic approach for African climate litigation. It engages with the methodological and conceptual approaches that could be used to identify climate change cases decided in African courts, and to develop a reflexive and critical scholarship on climate litigation for the African context. There have been many attempts to define climate litigation and delineate litigation typologies. 1 However, from an African perspective, these attempts suffer from two glaring deficiencies. Firstly, they consistently position

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climate litigation strategies. These are addressed in the next section. South Africa’s legal mechanisms South Africa has a strong legal framework supporting potential options for climate litigation. As a signatory and ratifying party to the Paris Agreement, 31 the South African government has undertaken international commitments to address climate change. The Constitution states the following in relation to international commitments: ‘when interpreting the Bill of Rights, a court, tribunal or forum must consider international law’ 32 and ‘an international

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This volume is a collection of scholarly reflections on the theme of climate litigation in Africa. The book spans a range of approaches and jurisdictions and aims to be a relevant yet lasting volume of reflective contributions both in relation to transnational, regional and local climate litigation scholarship, but also to our understanding of the plural nature of climate justice and climate governance in Africa. In developing this project we have delved into, and supported, the creation of a body of rich, complex and interesting work. 1 The range of

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Introduction It seems like a long time ago that there were only a handful of climate lawsuits. Since the first climate lawsuits were filed in the United States in 1990, 2 a myriad of litigation has emerged at the national, regional and global levels. According to the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, as of May 2021 the databases on climate litigation around the world contained 1,841 cases that were either in progress or had already been decided. 3 This shows the exponential development of the phenomenon through which civil

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to meet the requirements of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), the Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement. However, although Morocco has begun to incorporate climate change into its legal system, climate litigation has not evolved to the degree observed in the Global North, and some African countries such as Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda. 8 As far as we know, no climate change disputes have been brought before the Moroccan judiciary. This chapter considers the reasons for the absence of cases relating to climate in Morocco, and

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Introduction While the majority of strategic climate litigation cases (around 76 per cent) have targeted governments, 1 an increasing number of private actors are being cited as defendants. 2 Although initial attempts at suing private entities for climate-related harm were largely unsuccessful, scientific advances in quantifying the carbon contributions of polluters has sparked more recent developments of private climate litigation by potentially overcoming problems of causation. 3 Suing private entities as a litigation strategy is driven by the

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is addressed in the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which was adopted in December 2015. Part two of the chapter focuses on climate justice. The third part of the chapter discusses how climate litigation can be a tool or strategy to promote climate justice. The fourth part focuses on the potential of climate litigation in Nigeria against the backdrop of recent judicial and legislative developments. The fifth part of the chapter is the conclusion. Multinationals and climate change MNCs are said to be the major contributors to climate change in the

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