As global temperatures and emissions climb, people are increasingly turning to courtrooms to challenge fossil fuel companies’ activities, leading to wins on issues like “climate-washing” but also backlash as companies file countersuits.

In the last five years, the number of climate-related court cases that have been filed around the world more than doubled, according to a 2023 report by the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP) and New York’s Columbia University, from 884 filed by 2017 to nearly 2,500 as of today.

A lawsuit “holds companies to account in a way that just protests or campaigns cannot do,” said Joana Setz

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