EPISODE 1: ALL RISE
MEET THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION
Everyone loves a good legal drama — even Mary, a former lawyer, devours The Good Wife — and over the last three years environmental law has become stranger than fiction. Both lawyers and their (often unexpected) plaintiffs have found powerful new teeth in order to take the world’s governments and multinationals to court for failing to act on climate change… and guess what? They’re winning.
Episode notes: Mary and Maeve are laying down the law. Two years ago, 886 ordinary Dutch citizens sued their government over climate change... and won. Tessa Khan, a Bangladeshi-Australian lawyer, is in the studio to talk new legal strategies for climate action. Her and her partners are currently suing not one, but six governments around the world for failing to protect their citizens. Then across to the US, where it’s the next generation who are rising to take Trump to court.
International human rights lawyer helping citizens take their governments to court over climate change
A Bangladeshi-Australian working all over the world
Tessa is Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Climate Litigation Network: a global web of lawyers, campaigners, and activists helping citizens take their governments to court in pursuit of climate action. The Climate Litigation Network was born after Tessa heard about the citizens of The Netherlands suing their country to force them to reduce emissions, to help many more such cases be brought to courts around the world.
Tessa has lived across the globe pursuing an illustrious international career as a human rights lawyer. Her experience living and working in Thailand, Bangladesh, Mexico and Australia in particular gave her first hand experience of climate impacts, and led her to realise that climate change is the human rights issue of our time.
In addition to her legal role supporting the Climate Litigation Network, Tessa helps the legal community with communications and storytelling. Once a star high school debater (she won a world championship!), she is inspired by the spoken word and power of story to shape our world.
By visiting this link for info about ongoing climate cases across the globe, and ways you can get behind them.
Driving force behind the world's first climate liability lawsuit,
and its historic victory
Marjan is Director of Urgenda: an action-oriented foundation helping The Netherlands transition towards a sustainable society with a circular economy. She was the driving force behind the world’s first climate liability lawsuit which won a historic climate change victory in 2015.
Marjan’s first-of-its kind lawsuit persuaded three judges of the Dutch courts to order the state of The Netherlands to slash emissions to protect its citizens from the dangers of climate change. She and Urgenda have now created the Climate Litigation Network to support others around the world to bring similar cases to hold their governments to account. As well as being a Mother of Invention, Marjan is mother to three teenagers and plays the oboe.
Be inspired by her historic case to start your own! Email Dennis.van.Berkel@urgenda.nl for more information.
Kelsey Juliana, Vic Barrett & Ridhima Pandey
Suing their governments to protect their future
USA and India
Kelsey Juliana, Vic Barrett and Ridhima Pandey are just three of dozens of young activists across the world now using the law to force their governments to take climate change far, far more seriously. Kelsey (aged 22 from Oregon) and Vic (19 from New York) filed their groundbreaking constitutional climate lawsuit against the US government in 2015 alongside 19 other young people from across the country, arguing the administration’s climate-changing actions violate the youths’ constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property. The trial begins in October 2018.
Ridhima, from Uttarakhand, India, bravely filed a petition against her government in 2017 when she was just nine years old. She argued that the Indian government has failed to fulfil its duties to her and the Indian people to protect them from climate impacts – a hearing on the case is expected soon.
Kelsey, Vic, Ridhima and fellow young plaintiffs across the world are being supported by Our Children’s Trust: an organisation started in 2010 by mother of two and litigator, the amazing Julia Olson. Our Children’s Trust’s mission is to elevate the voice of youth to secure the legal right to a stable climate and healthy atmosphere for the benefit of all present and future generations.
Support Kelsey, Vic, Ridhima and Our Children's Trust
By donating to keep their vital work going at www.ourchildrenstrust.org/donate