How ClientEarth identifies what to work on

Environmental challenges are sometimes international and extremely advanced. Their impacts are equally wide-ranging. Humanity has a collection of selections to make that may result in a welcoming future world or a bleak one. Serving to lawmakers to jot down good legal guidelines and amend weak ones, and imposing the regulation when governments fail to take action, is an enormously highly effective instrument to make use of in defence of the planet.

We all know that by utilizing the regulation we will drive systemic change that tackles essentially the most urgent of those challenges at their root.  When it’s deployed with a complete understanding of the science, knowledgeable by economics and alert to politics, the regulation can assist stability the wants of individuals and nature.

How will we select what to work on?

We form, strengthen and implement the regulation to

  • Fight local weather change and air pollution
  • Safe individuals’s environmental rights
  • Defend and restore habitats, wildlife and pure assets

Our assets are finite – however the breadth and depth of expertise of our staff means we’re capable of innovate and use many forms of regulation to safe our environmental objectives.

We all know we will deliver to bear not solely environmental regulation but additionally finance and enterprise regulation, state help and competitors regulation, commerce regulation and plenty of different authorized disciplines.

With these instruments at our disposal we evaluation the authorized panorama throughout the globe on an ongoing foundation to make sure we’re utilizing our experience for the best doable impression. Selecting what to work on is a posh enterprise, however amongst different components we think about:

  • Significance. Is critical environmental harm or hurt to human well being (or the chance of such harm or hurt) occurring?
  • Leverage. Can we establish an intervention or a collection of interventions the place we will immediately goal the issue, advance options, or create systemic change?
  • Alternative. A number of fertile venues or geographies is out there the place we will act.
  • House. Can ClientEarth deliver a brand new strategy, perspective or experience to the sphere?
  • Affect. Does the problem or challenge have an excellent prospects of success on their phrases, together with momentum constructing and enabling future motion by ClientEarth or others?
  • Assets. Do we’ve got entry to the assets essential to see the challenge via to success?

By making use of these exams we’ve recognized seven international challenges the place we consider we will have essentially the most impression.

Rule of regulation

Why we work on it: Our central self-discipline is the regulation. In all of our programmes we use the regulation to drive – and in some circumstances compel – sturdy motion from governments, shift monetary flows, change markets, commerce and enterprise practices, and empower residents and communities. Our authorized instruments embody authorized advocacy, constructing the authorized capability of others, litigation and campaigning. We can not do any of this successfully with out sturdy environmental legal guidelines and sturdy authorized techniques and processes in place, in addition to entry to the courts.

Local weather and the Paris Settlement

Why we work on it: Local weather change is without doubt one of the best challenges humanity faces. It’ll underlie virtually all different issues for generations to come back. The world is at present on target for not less than 3ºC of warming, with probably grave impacts together with not less than 1-2 meters of sea degree rise, unpredictable and excessive climate, species extinction and threats to meals safety. The Paris Settlement set bold objectives for international local weather coverage, however nationwide and regional coverage, and enterprise and funding methods, urgently must align with these objectives to make them occur. There isn’t a time to lose.

Power transition

Why we work on it: To realize the objectives of the Paris Settlement, it’s vital that the world’s vitality techniques decarbonise by 2040. This requires not less than a halving of emissions every decade. That transition must occur in a deliberate, simply and sustainable manner. We consider that the keys to unlocking this transformation in Europe are:

  • completion of the mixing of the EU vitality market;
  • eliminating the usage of fossil fuels (particularly coal) within the vitality sector;
  • rising competitors to allow new market entrants;
  • higher use of public subsidies and public financing to extend the market share of renewables and make sure the transition is from ‘ coal to scrub’ (and significantly that the share of gasoline and biomass within the vitality is proscribed).

Air pollution and well being

Why we work on it: Air air pollution is the world’s single greatest environmental well being danger. Over 400,000 untimely deaths are attributed to air air pollution in Europe annually, together with over 40,000 within the UK. The primary reason behind air air pollution in Europe is the burning of strong gasoline, together with coal, and diesel use in transportation. The impacts are felt essentially the most in cities.

Along with fossil gasoline combustion, pesticides and chemical compounds are the opposite most important causes of air pollution. Greater than 100,000 chemical substances are commercially obtainable in Europe and the variety of new substances on the worldwide market remains to be rising.

Correct regulation is important to establish which chemical compounds are hazardous, and to make sure that publicity of individuals, wildlife and ecosystems to dangerous chemical compounds is minimised.


Why we work on it: Forests are essential for our survival. Along with performing as carbon sinks, they supply livelihoods for individuals and habitats for an enormous vary of wildlife, they usually assist stop flooding and soil erosion. Globally, forests decreased by 129 million hectares over the 25 years to 2015, to simply below 4 billion hectares. The speed of web forest loss has slowed – estimated at 3.Three million hectares per yr. However these numbers disguise a shift – planted forest space is rising whereas decreases in pure forest cowl proceed. The explanations for deforestation and forest degradation are advanced.

Timber manufacturing, the conversion of forests for agriculture, mining and infrastructure growth, and local weather goals all impression forests.

The EU is a key marketplace for commodities that impression forests and has the potential to exert affect far past its personal borders.

We’d like our forests. So we want stronger nationwide forest governance and extra discerning commerce.


Why we work on it: Our oceans have modified extra within the final thirty years than in all of human historical past earlier than. Wholesome oceans are important to feeding the world and offering livelihoods. Additionally they present habitats for numerous species of animals and vegetation and comprise among the most fragile ecosystems on the planet. Regardless of this, we’re overexploiting fish shares, destroying hotspots for marine wildlife, and dumping round eight million tons of plastic into the oceans annually. We urgently must halt these devastating impacts.


Why we work on it: Wildlife is going through main inhabitants declines. By 2020 populations of vertebrate species are anticipated to have fallen by 67% in comparison with 1970 ranges. Pressing motion have to be taken to reverse the damaging impacts of human exercise on species and their habitats. On account of conservation efforts in Europe, massive carnivores, together with the brown bear, the lynx and the wolf, are recovering however many species together with butterflies, bees and birds are in fast decline with probably devastating penalties for ecosystems in addition to meals safety and livelihoods.

Reversing these losses will even have a optimistic impression on human wellbeing.

Does ClientEarth deliver challenges recognized by the general public?

We’re at all times grateful to environmentally involved residents highlighting challenges that must be addressed. Even when they’re aligned with the priorities for impression recognized above, it’s uncommon that we can supply authorized help. Our finite assets, limits set by charity regulation, legal guidelines on entry to the courts and legal guidelines on what sort of recommendation we’re allowed to supply imply it’s typically not doable for us to interact. The place we will we are going to counsel different routes to discovering authorized help.

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