British public supports climate lawsuits against businesses

A new poll has revealed the majority of Britons ‘overwhelmingly’ back environmental litigation and climate lawsuits against businesses and other polluters.

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According to the Commercial Courts Report 2023, published by strategic communications consultancy Portland, 91% of the public would like to see the UK Government introduce legislation that ensures organisations must do more for the environment.

Those having a negative impact should also be held accountable for the damage they do. Additionally, 81% want British courts to prepare to intervene and force the private sector to meet more ambitious climate-related targets.

‘The public’s strong feelings on environmental litigation being used as a force for good, shows once again that the law does not exist in a vacuum. Litigation, commercial strategy and reputation can no longer be separated. Today, every entity involved in litigation must consider how the audiences that matter to them will react,’ said Philip Hall, Senior Partner and Head of Portland’s Litigation and Disputes practice.

‘Despite increasing competition from overseas, London’s appeal to international litigants, and the soft power that goes with it, endures – at least for now,’ he continued. ‘The recent world-wide wave of climate change litigation is popular among the British public. Portland’s in-house polling shows overwhelming support for climate change and greenwashing lawsuits, with far-reaching implications for companies and organisations’ reputation.’

Climate change, action and the law are increasingly making headlines. In the UK alone, a group of senior lawyers and barristers have signed an unprecedented pledge not to work on cases against environmental campaigners. Meanwhile, investigations by Environment Journal have put the rise in ‘green litigation’ in sharp relief.

More on climate and law: 

The Big One Climate Protest London begins



Legally bound: The climate litigation and contract law boom


Feature: What is the future of the UK as a venue for climate change litigation?


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