States, towns, and cities are litigating against fossil fuel companies for knowingly accelerating global warming. Kids are litigating against the federal government for endangering their futures. Investors are litigating against corporations for putting the value of their stock in jeopardy. Employees are suing corporations for deceiving them about climate change. Climate protesters are suing to preserve their rights to civil disobedience.

Climate change is not just an environmental issue; it’s a social justice issue, too. It is important to recognize that the people most affected by climate change are often those who have contributed least to its progression. People are recognizing that environmental mismanagement and obstruction of climate action are an infringement on their rights.

MakeThemPay - NY vs ExxonMobil




NRDC’s Litigation Timeline

For 50 years, NRDC has been suing polluters in defense of our health and environment—no matter what industry or political stripe those polluters represent. And sometimes we sue the president. Since the Trump administration assumed office…


Science is under siege. Anti-science groups and individuals seek to delegitimize, interfere with, and undermine facts and evidence that threaten their financial interests and ideological beliefs. Aggressive legal action, harassment, and even death threats are…

U.S. Climate Change Litigation

Cases in the U.S. database are organized by type of claim and may be filtered by the principal laws they address, their filing years, and their jurisdictions. The database is also searchable by keyword. In many cases, the database…

9 major climate change cases that could shape the fight to save the planet

Cases brought by an array of plaintiffs—among them children, state and local governments, farmers and environmental associations—target the Trump administration, fossil fuel giants and other alleged perpetrators of climate damage. Check out these major climate…

12 Legal Tools to Push Climate Preparedness

Extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and severe. Here are 12 ways the law can help society cope with these impacts. ...

League of Conservation Voters v. Trump

Challenge to executive order reversing President Obama’s withdrawal of lands in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans from future oil and gas leasing.

Lawyers are unleashing a flurry of lawsuits to step up the fight against climate change

The issue of climate change, which has been slowly winding its way through the legal system for the past two decades, recently took a high-profile detour. Traditionally relegated to the statutory realm of environmental and…


Here’s why lawyers suing oil companies are following the opioid cases

They think there could be a precedent for climate lawsuits.

ExxonMobil Accused of Pressuring Witnesses in Climate Fraud Case

By Jessica CorbettNew York state prosecutors last week accused ExxonMobil of trying to discourage witnesses from testifying against the company in a climate fraud case, leading...

Exxon accused of pressuring witnesses in climate fraud case

New York's attorney general wants a judge to stop the oil giant from subpoenaing documents from investors, saying it would 'discourage them from testifying'.

Climate Change And Insurance: Insurers’ Subrogation Claims

This is the fifth of six articles addressing climate change lawsuits in the context of (re)insurance.

What’s Next for the Youth Climate Lawsuit

By Fran KortenOn June 4, Andrea Rodgers was in the front row of attorneys sitting before a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court. The court session, held in Portland, Oregon, was to determine whether…

Question back in court: What’s the best way to cut emissions?

By Ellen M. Gilmer  Photo by Valentin Wolf/imageBROKER/Newcom   06/20/19  
A who's who of high-powered lawyers appeared in court in 2016 to debate the meaning of "best system of emission reduction," a technical Clean Air Act term that steers EPA's response to climate change.

In Courtrooms, Climate Change Is No Longer Up for Debate

By Isabella Kaminski  Photo: Alexander Pohl/NurPhoto via Getty Images   06/17/19  
Climate science now often goes unchallenged in lawsuits seeking to curb fossil fuel use and hold companies to account.

Montana judge rules PSC intentionally set PURPA rates to kill solar projects

By Catherine Morehouse   04/08/19  
A Montana district court judge last week issued an order in favor of solar developers, ruling that the state's Public Service Commission intentionally disadvantaged small solar projects in violation of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies…

U.S. regulator rules out Exxon shareholder vote on climate resolution

Exxon Mobil Corp is not required to let its shareholders vote on setting greenhouse gas targets, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on Tuesday, agreeing with the company’s request to reject the proposal.

A Texan’s Big Bet on a Fossil-Fuel Future for California

By Ivan Penn and Thomas Kaplan  Cam Cottrill   03/29/19  
Andrew Beal, a poker-playing billionaire and major Trump backer, could upend California’s carbon-free power goals with a case before federal regulators.

Northern Fights

By Rebecca Cohen   03/28/19  
By land and by sea, America’s Arctic is under attack.

Democratic State AGs Rally Behind San Francisco, Oakland Climate Suits

By Dana Drugmand A group of 10 states and the District of Columbia filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday in support of San Francisco and Oakland’s climate liability…

ExxonMobil’s Climate Change Pivot Speaks Volumes about Shareholder Activism

By Tina Casey   02/26/19  
Pension funds and other big-dollar investors have long been challenging fossil fuel companies on climate change. In response, some have stepped up their efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions. ExxonMobil is one of the holdouts,…

States sue Trump Administration over ocean sound blasts

A group of East Coast states is attempting to prevent oil and natural gas drilling off their coasts by suing to knock out the first step in the exploration process. ...

Trump Administration Files Another Set of Appeals to Stop Kids Climate Case

By Dana Drugmand   11/26/18  
Despite continual rejections of its many appeals to stop the landmark youth climate case Juliana v. United States, the Trump administration is continuing its effort to thwart the trial. It filed a new set of…

Former Shell Employee Challenges Pension Fund Over Climate Risks

By Ucilia Wang   11/26/18  
A former Shell employee in the United Kingdom is challenging the managers of the company’s pension fund to prove they are protecting the fund’s beneficiaries by adequately managing climate risks in their investment decisions.

Exxon Loses 2nd Shot At Slipping Investors’ Climate Suit

By Bonnie Eslinger   11/26/18  
The brief order from U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade provides no explanation for the court’s decision other than to say it was made “(a)fter carefully considering [Exxon’s] motion,” the investor plaintiffs’ response, the company’s reply,…

Supreme Court Rejects White House Move To Block Teens’ Climate Change Lawsuit

By Mary Papenfuss   11/26/18  
The Supreme Court has refused a Trump administration application to halt an intriguing climate change lawsuit filed by a group of young people against the U.S. government.

Why Is the U.S. Government So Motivated to Avoid the Kids’ Climate Case?

By Karen Savage   11/26/18  
Although their case remains on hold while the Supreme Court reviews a last-ditch, extraordinary motion by the Trump Administration, the 21 young plaintiffs in the landmark climate suit Juliana v. United States have already taken…

Fossil Fuels on Trial: Where the Major Climate Change Lawsuits Stand Today

By David Hasemyer   11/25/18  
Some of the biggest oil and gas companies are embroiled in legal disputes with cities, states and children over the industry's role in global warming.

New York attorney general sues Exxon for climate fraud

By Ucilia Wang   11/24/18  
New York filed a lawsuit against ExxonMobil on Wednesday, alleging that the company has deceived investors for years by deliberately downplaying the climate risks to its business and long-term financial health.

California to Fight ‘Unlawful’ Trump Fuel Economy Rollback

By John Lippert   11/24/18  
Trump plan won’t save lives, attorney general tells reporters. State will join 18 others in opposition to plan in filing.

Judge Denies Government Motions to Dismiss Youth Climate Case

By Karen Savage   11/24/18  
The federal judge presiding over the landmark youth-led climate lawsuit has given the green light for the case to proceed to trial. U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken denied motions filed earlier this year by the…

Richmond Becomes Latest California City to File Climate Lawsuit

By Dana Drugmand   11/24/18  
Richmond, Calif., became the latest community on Monday to file suit against 29 fossil fuel companies, seeking monetary damages to pay for costs of adapting to climate change. It is the latest in a wave…

How climate protesters are defending their civil disobedience–and winning in court

By Alice Cherry   11/12/18  
As more protesters use direct action–like blocking pipeline construction with their bodies–they’re winning more court cases by saying the dire nature of climate change justifies their actions.

California passes law barring restaurants from automatically offering plastic straws

By Katie Pyzyk   10/20/18  
California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law (AB 1884) barring full-service restaurants throughout the state from providing plastic straws, unless a customer asks for one. The law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2019. Restaurants…

The Kids’ Climate Case Will Not Be Derailed, Trial Begins in Two Weeks

By Brian Kahn   09/16/18  
On Monday, a judge ruled that while Donald Trump can’t be named as defendant in the kids climate lawsuit, the trial will go on. It sets up a historic courtroom showdown in two weeks that…

Supreme Court Refuses to Halt Kids Climate Case

By Dana Drugmand   08/15/18  
The Supreme Court denied the federal government’s request to halt discovery and the trial in the youth climate lawsuit Juliana v. United States. The court’s rejection of the defendant’s application for a stay means the…

Baltimore Sues 26 Fossil Fuels Companies Over Climate Change

By David Hasemyer and Nicholas Kusnetz   07/20/18  
The city’s waterfront revitalization has become a model for urban development, but sea level rise and extreme weather are putting its future at risk.

Children’s Climate Lawsuit Heads to Trial: Court Rejects Trump Attempt to Block It

By Nicholas Kusnetz  Photo by Robin Loznak/   07/03/18  
In 2015, 21 youths sued the US government claiming that the government's failure to act on climate change mitigation had threatened their constitutional rights. In March 2018, a federal appeals court rejected Trump's attempt to…

Judge Dismisses Suit Against Oil Companies Over Climate Change Costs

By John Shwartz  Photo by Jeff Chiu   06/25/18  
The ruling in the closely watched case was a defeat for San Francisco and Oakland, which had sued fossil fuel companies over the costs of a warming world.

Native Americans Sue Frackers Over Manmade Earthquakes

By Ross Kenneth Urken   07/06/17  
Oklahoma has become one of the world’s most notorious earthquake hubs. In fact, in 2014 for the first time, the number of magnitude 3 or greater quakes in the state surpassed California’s total.

Exxon’s Own Research Confirmed Fossil Fuels’ Role in Global Warming Decades Ago

By Neela Banerjee, Lisa Song and David Hasemyer   09/16/15  
Top executives were warned of possible catastrophe from greenhouse effect, then led efforts to block solutions