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Law of the Land

2 September, 2022

As we’ve already discussed this week, voluntary behaviour change is not the only tactic available for protecting the natural world. In that spirit, we wanted to give a shout out to one of our favourite environmental charities: Client Earth.

Voted the most effective environmental group by CEOs from 90+ environmental organisations, Client Earth has built quite a reputation. Its mission is simple but not easy: use the power of the law to protect all life on Earth.

Client Earth lawyers challenge governments and companies when they break environmental laws. Meanwhile, its legal and policy experts help to make sure new laws reflect political and environmental realities. And in the last few months alone, Client Earth has taken legal action against Shell’s Board of Directors for mismanaging climate risk, and successfully sued the UK Government for its failure to set credible climate policies.

“The environmental crisis”, it argues, “is too big to be addressed bottom-up”. We’d agree. The International Energy Agency declared last year that there can be no new oil, gas or coal development if the world is to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and stay within safe limits of global heating. Yet despite this clear warning, governments and businesses all over the world are continuing to expand oil and gas production. To deliver the radical change that is already overdue, industries and governments must transform their practices – or be held to account. The law is a way to do that.

By Sarah Howden

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