2023 was the hottest year on record. And – if you’re a lawyer – you can do something about that.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to equip lawyers with an enhanced ability to take effective climate action, using their existing expertise.
Such a scheme didn’t exist in Northern Ireland– until now!
You can’t have missed the news announced this month that the year 2023 was officially the world’s warmest year on record, according to the Copernius Climate Change Service.
On a much more hopeful note, 2023 was also a year of high-profile climate litigation. From the six Portuguese youth activists and Torres Strait islanders Uncle Pabai and Uncle Paul, to the older women in Switzerland, communities around the world are increasingly relying on legal processes to compel government to take urgent action.
The PILS Project have made advancing climate justice one of our organisation’s strategic priorities. It was clear to us as a team that we need to break down the barriers that exist for groups seeking to use the law in climate or environment-related challenges.
However, we were becoming increasingly frustrated at (what we saw as) a disconnect between the problem and potential solutions. Northern Ireland passed its own Climate Change Act in 2022, but where can local practitioners go to find out about what its contents mean in practice?
The lives of future generations will be irrevocably shaped by our changing climate. So, what legal avenues can tomorrow’s lawyers explore to ensure a sustainable world for generations to come?
As a team, we kept thinking: wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to equip local legal practitioners with an enhanced ability to take effective climate action, using their existing expertise.
Such a scheme didn’t exist – until now.
The PILS Project are partnering with The Law Society of Northern Ireland to deliver an exciting new Climate Justice CPD series for its members.
This three-part training series is a new initiative from PILS, co-designed with the Society’s Climate Justice Group. Running from March – May 2024, each of the seminars will focus on a distinct theme:
- Session One: An introduction to climate justice litigation will introduce the field of climate litigation with global context scene-setting, including hearing about the power of strategic environmental cases through examples from around the world (Wednesday 20 March 2024).
- Session Two: The legislative framework and lessons from climate justice cases in Northern Ireland will focus on the specific legislative context, with particular focus on relevant pieces of NI legislation (Wednesday 17 April 2024).
- Session Three: Local environmental issues and corresponding legal action will provide participants with insights into various ways in which solicitors can support legal actions through case studies (Wednesday 15 May 2024).
At first, CPD events might not seem like the radical solution that the climate crisis needs. But the reality is if we are going to keep our planet safe, healthy, and habitable, we all need to work together: activists and ‘activist lawyers’ alike!
From megaphones and passionate protest to affidavits and expert reports, PILS believe that community organising and legal advocacy are complementary strategies.
We are certain that all solicitors, regardless of their areas of practice, have the skills to assist in the collective challenge of achieving climate justice.