A guide to tackling the collective causation problem in international climate change litigation

Author: Nataša Nedeski
Published: 15.12.2022
In the wide variety of arguments that defendants have brought up in climate change litigation, one argument is a constant. This is the argument that climate change is a problem of collective causation. That is: climate change harm is caused by actions and omissions of many actors and it would be scientifically impossible to attribute specific climate impacts to individual emitters. Arguments that build on this problem of collective causation have come in different forms, but all aim to shield individual defendants from responsibility. In Billy et al v. Australia, Australia stated before the Human Rights Committee that climate change…