Climate Risk Areas Initiative News

RISA Principal Investigator co-authors “The Law and Science of Climate Change Attribution”

  • 6 March 2020
RISA Principal Investigator co-authors “The Law and Science of Climate Change Attribution”

A new paper co-authored by Dr. Radley Horton, lead Principal Investigator of the Consortium on Climate Risk in the Urban Northeast (CCRUN, a CPO RISA team) examines how climate change attribution science is used in litigation and policy making, and how litigation and policy making might influence current and future directions in attribution science. Climate change attribution science – the ability to detect environmental changes and attribute these to increases in greenhouse gas emissions – plays a central role in lawsuits seeking to hold governments and private actors accountable for failure to take action on climate change. There has been a marked increase in the number of these lawsuits in recent years, as plaintiffs are pursuing more ambitious claims against governments and emitters for the contribution to, or failure to take action on, climate change. Attribution science is rapidly evolving, both in regards to attributing extreme events to climate change and greenhouse gas emissions to particular actors – and so too is its role in the courtroom and in policymaking. The 185-page publication reviews the methods and status of attribution science, examines the current legal and policy applications, and considers future directions in law and science. Dr. Horton collaborated with Michael Burger and Jessica Wentz at Columbia University’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law.


Read the paper »




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