Climate Change and Environmental Law: Where are We Heading? Keynote Presentation by Dr. Dianne Saxe

  • December 04, 2021
  • Angela Dittrich and David McRobert

Summary: In this article, Angela Dittrich and David McRobert review the keynote presentation made by Dr. Dianne Saxe to the OBA’s Environmental Law Mentorship Session on June 29, 2021. Dr. Saxe presented a brief summary of the scientific evidence supporting human-caused climate change and argued that the moral case for the courts taking action on climate change now has been made. She then turned to a survey of some of the climate litigation to date, noting there are 1800 climate lawsuits on the books [1] and these have attempted to block bad projects (e.g. such as refinery, highway or airport expansions) to those related to non-disclosure of GHG impacts or misrepresentation of impacts associated with oil and gas development. This was followed by a survey of recent key successful cases and their implications. Finally, Dr. Saxe graciously fielded a number of questions from the chair and principal organizer of the Mentorship session, Joanna Rosenfeld, and audience members.

By Angela Dittrich [2] and David McRobert [3]


The overwhelming scientific evidence supporting human-caused climate change has been present for decades, but successful climate litigation has remained a challenge. What does the future of climate litigation look like? How can the climate crisis be effectively addressed and mitigated through climate litigation? Dr. Dianne Saxe explored the current and future landscape of climate litigation in her keynote presentation.