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Establishing Legal Liability for Climate Change Adaptation Failures: An Assessment of the Litigation Trend

Alastair Marke, Marco Zolla


In light of the Dutch Supreme Court decision in State of the Netherlands v Urgenda Foundation in 2019 and the opening of the floodgates for climate-change-related litigation claims, this article introduces the concept of climate adaptation and how there have been legislator changes on a global scale to further the aims of the Paris Agreement, explores the recent trend of increasing climate change litigation in the World, analyses the distinction between self-executing and non-self-executing climate change measures and examines the ways in which certain countries have been able to avoid litigation liability altogether. The article then ends by providing two alternative scenarios which consider the potential failures by countries in integrating climate change adaptation measures and the challenges to any adaptation processes adopted by governments.

Alastair Marke Director-General, Blockchain & Climate Institute. For Correspondence: <>. Marco Zolla, Senior Legal Research Officer, Research Division III, Blockchain & Climate Institute. For Correspondence: <> Credit is also given to Constantine Markides, Research Officer, Director-General’s Office, Blockchain & Climate Institute, for his editorial input.


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