We are opening the Call for Abstracts
29. 1. 2024
On 30–31 May 2024, our Centre will be organizing an international climate law conference ‘Shaping Climate Law: Dynamic Roles of State and Non-State Actors’. During this two-day conference, we aim to explore the different roles of actors in climate law, reflecting on their different nature, forms of engagement, stages, and effects.The conference will be held in English as a face-to-face event in the premises of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague. We are opening the Call for Abstracts now. Send us your abstract by 29 February 2024 to firstname.lastname@example.org. See further details about the conference themes on the conference website. You can download the full text of the Call for Abstracts as a pdf here.
Save the date: International Climate Law Conference
12. 1. 2024
CLASS is delighted to announce the upcoming international climate law conference on ‘Shaping Climate Law: Dynamic Roles of State and Non-State Actors’ to take place on 30–31 May 2024 in Prague, Czech Republic, at the premises of the Czech Academy of Sciences. The conference aims to explore how different stakeholders – ranging from governments, regions, cities, businesses, industry associations, courts, civil society, activists, NGOs and climate assemblies, energy communities, to individuals as voters and consumers – are contributing to the formulation, implementation and enforcement of climate-related regulations. It is a pleasure to announce our distinguished keynote speakers who will share their insights and expertise: Prof. Laurence Boisson de Chazournes, Prof. Annalisa Savaresi, and Dr. Moritz Reese.
The call for papers will open shortly. Stay updated on conference developments by visiting the conference website or by following our LinkedIn.
Looking forward to your participation and wishing you a Happy and Prosperous New Year!
7. 12. 2023
We have just published the new issue of the CLASS newsletter, in which we inform about the draft Czech climate law published by the Pirate Party, or two court decisions – in the Czech climate case and in the case of poisoned river Bečva. We then bring, as usual, other interesting news on Czech climate policy and legislation. You can read the full newsletter here.
30. 10. 2023
Last week, our team participated at the final events of the JustDecarb SOLSTICE project at the CICERO Centre in Oslo: at the scientific conference, where the main findings and take-away messages of the three-year project were presented, and the stakeholder workshop, where, in addition to the main conclusions of the project, the main output for policy makers was showcased. The latter is the result and summary of the joint work of experts in philosophy, economy, political science and law, and formulates key recommendations for national actors developing and implementing climate and decarbonisation plans, policies and measures. It covers all relevant phases of the policy process: planning and analysis, participation and deliberation, policy design for transitional assistance, implementation and accountability, and monitoring and evaluation. The framework was prepared and published in English and is available for download here. A summary in Czech is in preparation.
Eva Balounová received the Visegrad Group Academies Young Researcher Award 2023
23. 10. 2023
Eva Balounová received the Visegrad Group Academies Young Researcher Award 2023 in Warsaw on 19 October. This year's award was dedicated to research on climate change in the global and polar dimensions. The award was conferred by the President of the CAS, Eva Zažímalová.
12. 10. 2023
We have just published a new issue of the CLASS newsletter, in which we recap the latest developments on tackling climate change with a special focus on the Czech Republic. We open the issue with the development of Czech strategic documents on climate solutions. In other news, we report on the boom in solar energy in Czechia, community energy, climate legislation and litigation. You can read the full newsletter here.
We invite you to the closing conference of the SOLSTICE project on Just Transition
10. 10. 2023
On Thursday 26 October 2023, the CICERO Center for International Climate Research will host a conference in Oslo with experts from all institutions of the project consortium to present the project's most interesting findings. There will be presentations on just transition from the perspectives of philosophy, law, political science and economy. The CLASS Centre will be represented by Monika Feigerlová with the paper "Just transitions and business" and Rita Simon with the paper "Vulnerability as a flexible concept for Just Transition". The conference will be held in a hybrid format and you can join just panels of your interest. The full conference programme can be found here. To participate in the conference, please fill in the form, which can be found at the link below in the programme or in the invitation of the Cicero Centre here. The conference will be followed by a stakeholder workshop on Friday 27 October, where the final output of the project - the "Just Transition Policy Toolkit" - will be presented.
CLASS at the International Conference on Just Transition in Dundee, Scotland
9. 9. 2023
In the framework of the JustDecarb project, we have been working for the past two years on the topic of just transition, i.e. how to set up legally fair processes related to decarbonisation and the transition to a low-carbon economy. We have now presented our findings at an international conference organised by the University of Dundee on 7-8 September 2023 on this very topic. Hana Müllerová presented "Two Approaches to the Concept of Just Transition from the International Law Perspective"; , Monika Feigerlová presented "The Modernised Energy Charter Treaty Through the Lenses of a Just Transitions"; and Adam Novák presented "Just Transition in Post-Communist European Countries". The full conference programme can be found here.
We will present our findings at the annual conference of the European Environmental Law Forum in Leipzig
24. 8. 2023
The 10th European Environmental Law Forum Conference will be held in Leipzig in late August and early September. It is dedicated to the environmental law transformation in the context of legal implementation and impact of the European Green Deal. Our Centre will be represented at the conference by Hana Müllerová with the topic "Just transition as a new overarching law concept in the climate change debate?", Monika Feigerlová with the paper "Climate transition plans under a draft Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive" and Eva Balounová who will speak on the topic "In search of a national Climate Change Act in light of the European Green Deal".
You can download the whole conference programme here.
28. 6. 2023
In the June issue of the CLASS newsletter, we summarise what has been happening in the Czech climate law and policy over the last quarter. We present the basic environmental context of the new Czech building law, report on the ongoing update of the Czech Climate protection policy and Energy concept. We also mention the draft constitutional enshrinement of water protection, or the news on the investigation in the the Bečva River accident case that happened more than 1,000 days ago. We wish you pleasant reading, wherever you may be.
7. 6. 2023
On Friday, 9 June, the University of Turin and the Research Centre for the Future of Law will host an international workshop on climate litigation. Monika Feigerlová will speak on the Greenpeace Southeast Asia and Others case, and Eva Balounová will present the Czech climate litigation case. For joining the workshop online, please see the attached invitation for details.
Online lecture by Michelle Zang: ‘Turning over a New Leaf of International Trade: Eco-trade Policies at the WTO’
7. 6. 2023
Michelle Zang is Senior Lecturer in International Trade Law, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. She holds the Bachelor in Law (Fudan University, Shanghai, 2004), LLM in European Legal Studies (Distinction, Durham University, UK, 2006) and PhD in EU Law and WTO Law (Durham University, UK, 2010). Dr Zang specialises, publishes and teaches in international economic law and European law. Before joining VUW, she completed post-doc research respectively as Emile Noël Fellow at Jean Monnet Center, NYU Law School (2010 - 2011) and at PluriCourts- Centre for the Study of the Legitimate Roles of the Judiciary in the Global Order, University of Oslo (2014 - 2018). She also worked for the Appellate Body Secretariat of the WTO (2011) and King & Wood Mallesons, Beijing (2012 - 2013).
In her presentation for the team of our Centre, Michelle explored the question how the WTO system should deal with trade policies whose primary aim is to protect the environment and climate. The main argument is that the current system which treats those policies as exceptions to trade liberalization is not sufficient. To encourage nation states to take meaningful actions, the WTO needs to confirm the legality of the eco-trade policy that is designed with solid scientific evidence without the need to recourse to exception clauses.
You can watch the videorecording of the lecture here.
Rights of nature to be seriously discussed as a new important topic at WCEL
16. 5. 2023
The current deep biodiversity crisis is increasingly leading lawyers to consider how to achieve stronger and more effective nature protection. One avenue being explored is the possibility of enshrining the legal personality and rights of parts of nature, such as rivers, mountains, animals or entire ecosystems. Granting rights to nature is not a new concept. It already exists in Latin American countries but we have the first example from Europe, too: the heavily threatened and polluted Mar Menor lagoon in Spain was declared by law last year to have the right to exist, develop, protect and restore.
However, the concept of legal personality and rights of nature is not easy to relate to the current legal system in Europe, and the whole issue presents many challenges that need to be seriously addressed. Already in 2012, the IUCN’s Members adopted a Resolution at the World Conservation Congress, which tasks the Director General to initiate a strategy for dissemination, communication and advocacy on rights of nature. This mandate has recently finally begun to be fulfilled by establishing a Task Force on Rights of Nature within the World Commission on Environmental Law. The Task Force's first official consultation on the issue took place on 15 May 2023 at the University of London, with the participation of Hana Müllerová as its member.
24. 4. 2023
The Centre for Climate Law and Sustainability Studies (CLASS) of the Institute of State and Law of the CAS in cooperation with the FWO Scientific Research Network 'Climate Change Law in Europe' cordially invites you to the international workshop "Greenwashing and climate change: legal perspectives".
Date: 12 May 2023 from 9:30 am to 1 pm CET
Venue: Akademie věd ČR, Národní 3, Prague 1 / room 108 + online.
The registration form, including the choice of attendance in person or online, is here.
Due to organizational reasons the possibility to select in-person attendance will be closed one week before the date of the event; then it will only be possible to register for online participation.
For more information, please see the invitation.
The video recording of the speakers' presentations are available at our YouTube channel here.
3. 4. 2023
On Thursday, June 22, 2023, the Centre for Climate Law and Sustainability Studies will host a student research conference titled "Climate Justice and Sustainable Futures." We invite students from a variety of disciplines who are close to the topic to submit abstracts. The conference will be held in Czech. All the essential information about the conference topics and the possibility to participate, as well as collective publication to be produced on the basis of the conference, can be found on the conference website (in Czech only); the poster is also available for download. The conference is organized by CLASS interns – students of the Faculty of Law of the Charles University in Prague.
28. 3. 2023
We have just published a new issue of our newsletter. Here you can read about the progress of the Czech climate litigation, the starting debate on preparing the Czech Climate Act, the promising Czech legislative innovations in the field of renewable energy, the court's assessment of the public interest in the field of heritage protection versus photovoltaics, or the poisoned river Bečva court litigation. If you'd like to revisit any of the earlier newsletters, you can find them all here. You can subscribe to receive the newsletter to your email here.
Climate change, business and human rights
27. 3. 2023
Monika Feigerlová, a member of our team, was invited to a roundtable discussion on the links between business operations, climate change and human rights, organized by the Business, Trade and Human Rights Unit of Human Rights Law Centre (HRLC) at the University of Nottingham in the UK. The roundtable, which took place on 21 March 2023 and was moderated by the Head of the Unit Dr. Klara Polackova Van der Ploeg, focused on the responsibilities of businesses in relation to climate change mitigation and adaptation, as well as accountability mechanisms (and barriers to accountability) for corporate failure to take adequate climate action. Monika Feigerlová presented findings of her research on climate transition plans that certain companies would have to prepare under the proposal for an EU Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence. The panel was joined by distinguished speakers, including Professor Robert McCorquodale that shared views of the UN Human Rights Council's Working Group on Business and Human Rights of which he is a member, Dr. Ekaterina Aristova who focused on a typology of climate litigation against corporations, and Dr. Lara Bianchi that highlighted potential weaknesses of stakeholder engagement in conflict areas.
21. 3. 2023
Press conferences to launch IPCC reports are traditionally broadcast and presented to the public in the Czech Republic. Increasingly, the emphasis is not only on climatological knowledge, but also on the responses governments need to address climate change. At the presentation of the Synthesis Report, which concludes the AR6 assessment cycle, Hana Müllerová from CLASS was invited to a panel discussion to comment on what the report implies for law and policy. A recording of the panel discussion (in Czech only) is available here.
20. 2. 2023
Today, the Supreme Administrative Court put an end to our cautiously optimistic expectations about the first Czech climate litigation. In its judgment (in Czech) It overturned the first-instance decision, which had upheld the lawsuit in its mitigation part (that the climate action of the Czech state is insufficient). The Court particularly rejected the key argumentation on which the June 2022 decision was built - namely that the Czech Republic is obliged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 because the European Union has committed to do so in the EU NDC (Nationally Determined Contribution) under the Paris Agreement, and that the Czech Republic is not doing enough to meet this 55% target. According to the Supreme Administrative Court, the EU NDC is a collective commitment of the EU which has not yet been specified for the Czech Republic by EU legislative mechanisms and cannot therefore be regarded as an individual commitment of the Czech Republic. Nor can the 55% target be based on other legislation in force, also because the Czech Republic has no Climate Act setting national emission targets. In other words, the Court did not get to assess whether the Czech Republic is doing enough for the climate, nor did it agree with the ministries that their climate efforts are sufficient, but merely stated that the legislation is currently not specific enough to rely on in this type of lawsuit to assess the sufficiency and pace of the Czech Republic's climate action. We will address the judgment in a more detailed commentary in the coming days.
27. 1. 2023
We are pleased to announce that our book Klimatické právo [Climate Law] by a team of authors led by Hana Müllerová and with a foreword by Prof. Bedřich Moldan has just been published by Wolters Kluwer. It is the first comprehensive treatment of climate law in the Czech language. It is the result of a two-year-work by the authors from the Centre for Climate Law and Sustainability Studies and co-authors from the fields of climate science, sociology, ethics, political science and economy. The book is addressed to readers among fellow lawyers interested in the new field of climate law, students and members of both the professional and interested public.
The book (in Czech only) is available to buy here. You can look inside in the content here.
6. 1. 2023
On Monday, 9 January 2023, the United Nations Information Centre Prague (UNIC), the Commission for the Environment of the Czech Academy of Sciences, the Climate Coalition, and the Society for Sustainable Life are organising a conference entitled "The State of the World Climate Protection: what are the results of COP 27?". The conference will address the outcomes of the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which took place in November 2022 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Eva Balounová will speak on behalf of the Centre for Climate Law and Sustainability Studies. She will summarize the legal outputs of COP27.
The conference will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., in hybrid form. More details and the programme can be found on the website of STUŽ here. The event will be held in Czech.
Wishing you a joyous Holiday Season and a prosperous New Year!
15. 12. 2022
The COP27 climate summit in Egypt was important for the Czech Republic, because the Czech delegation led the negotiations on behalf of the EU due to the Czech Presidency of the Council and because a proposal to hold one of the future COPs in the Czech Republic has appeared in the public debate. We open the last 2022 issue of our newsletter with the Czech responses at and contexts to COP27. For your further reading, we have prepared the most interesting news from Czech climate policy and legislation. The issue is available here.
Comment on the first-instance decision regarding the Czech climate litigation published in Climate Law
5. 11. 2022
The just published issue of Climate Law (Brill) brings a case note by Hana Müllerová and Alexander Ač on the June decision of the Municipal Court in Prague on the first Czech climate lawsuit. The article first provides the context regarding the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the Czech Republic and Czech climate policy, then it summarises the climate lawsuit filed in 2021. At its core, the article analyses the main arguments of the Court in the area of the Czech Republic's obligation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the extension of the constitutional right to a favourable environment with a climate dimension.
Text by Eva Balounová on the first Czech climate litigation published at the Climate Law Blog
21. 10. 2022
"Guest Commentary: An Unexpected Success for Czech Climate Litigation": this is the title of Eva's blogpost commenting on the first Czech climate jugdment, published on 18 October 2022 at the Climate Law Blog that is part of the Sabin Center's Peer Review Network of Global Climate Litigation at Columbia Law School. You may read the post here.
Interdisciplinary symposium on climate change reflection in Czech social sciences
11. 10. 2022
On Friday 14 October, our Centre is organising a meeting of experts of the Czech social sciences whose research focuses on climate change. Representatives of sociology, anthropology, ethics, pedagogy, ecology, environmental studies, environmental history, international relations, economics, law and other disciplines will discuss the central question of the symposium: What role do the Czech social sciences play in exploring the causes of and solutions to climate change? The aim of the event is to bring together the perspectives of different disciplines on the topic and to facilitate future networking and collaboration among experts. The event will be held in Czech in the premises of the Czech Academy of Sciences. The programme of the event (in Czech) is available here.
Our Autumn newsletter informs on solutions to the energy crisis outlined by the Czech government so far and on other climate news in the country
In the latest issue, you may read on the cassation motions brought against the first instance decision on the first Czech climate lawsuit that move the case before the Supreme Administrative Court. Moreover, we discuss upcoming changes to the Czech environmental legislation and summarise the ongoing debate before the municipal elections, which for example in Prague centres around cars and bicycles, transport and parking in the city. You will find the whole newsletter here.
18. 7. 2022
We have the good news that in June our team completed the manuscript of the book "Climate Law", which is now being prepared for publication by Wolters Kluwer Publishing. This will be the first volume treating the field of climate law in Czech, with an introductory section that will introduce readers to the context of climate change from the perspective of climate science, political science, economy, sociology and ethics. The legal chapters will then cover the general foundations of the newly formed climate law, the reflections of climate change in international law, the background of EU and Czech climate law, the main sectors affected by climate regulation, and selected issues of liability and enforcement in climate law, including the rise of climate litigation. For a more detailed overview of the content of the book and the author team, please see here [in Czech].
30. 6. 2022
Before the summer holidays we bid you farewell with a new issue of our newsletter. We open it with the most surprising event on this year's Czech climate scene - the victory of the first Czech climate lawsuit in the court of first instance. We continue with news about the Czech EU Council Presidency, the plan to establish a new national park in the Czech Republic, criticism of the Czech use of EU funds and the still unclear situation in the investigation into the massive fish poisoning in the Bečva River in 2019. We wish you a pleasant reading and a nice summer holiday. You will find the whole newsletter here.
We comment on the court decision in the first Czech climate litigation
21. 6. 2022
On 15 June 2022, the Municipal Court in Prague ruled on the first Czech climate action, largely upholding it. On our blog, we recapitulate the story of Czech climate litigation so far (which may not be over yet) and highlight how the court has dealt with the plaintiffs' claims. So far, we are relying on the oral pronouncement of the court's decision – the official written judgment is not yet available. You can read the commentary here.
9. 6. 2022
We would like to invite you to an expert discussion seminar on the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU, which will take place on Monday 13 June at 4 PM in person and online. The discussion will focus on the priorities and challenges of the Czech Presidency in the field of environment and climate, and the panellists will include Hana Müllerová from the Centre for Climate Law and Sustainability Studies.The first part of the event will be held in Czech and English with simultaneous interpretation, the second part in Czech only. For more information on the programme and the possibility to participate, please see the attached invitation.
Online lecture by Prof. Gyula Bándi: A unique institution: ombudsman for future generations in Hungary
2. 5. 2022
Prof. Bándi has been the Deputy Commissioner for Fundamental Rights - Ombudsman for Future Generations in Hungary. As an expert in environmental law, he has been teaching environmental law for many years and has had the position of Head of the Environmental and Competition Law Department, Faculty of Law and Political Sciences, Pázmány Péter Catholic University in Budapest.
In his lecture, prof. Bándi describes how the office of the Hungarian ombudsman was established and how it has developed up to today. He then explains the mandate and the main functions of the ombudsman generally and in the environmental field specifically. He also mentions in what real environmental cases the office intervened and with what results.
The lecture was given on 7 April 2022. The recording of the lecture is available on our You Tube channel here.
31. 3. 2022
The first edition of our newsletter in 2022 is available here. First, we are considering how the EU Green Deal will develop after the Russian invasion in Ukraine. Despite in the Czech debate, there are many voices that the Green Deal is dead now, we believe on the contrary that it will be accelarated and intensified. We also bring news in the area of sustainability and climate change law and policy in the Czech Republic: how the environmental and climate plans of the new Czech government develop, what the new Circular strategy of the Czech Republic states, or what the environmental NGOs think about the Czech-Polish agreement on the Turów coalmine; and more!
If you wish to receive our future newsletters in your mailbox, you can subscribe here.
Вакансія - кліматичне та екологічне право
18. 3. 2022
Ми пропонуємо вакансію вченого в Центрі кліматичного права та стійкості для досліджень в галузі міжнародного кліматичного права та екологічного права. На цю посаду ми шукаємо людину з юридичною освітою, включаючи завершений ступінь доктора філософії (Ph.D.), зі знанням англійської мови та готовністю присвятити себе новій галузі кліматичного права. Ми вітаємо попередню експертизу в галузі екологічного права. Наступ можливий відразу, повний або неповний за домовленістю. Ми знаходимося в центрі Праги. Зацікавлені особи можуть надіслати своє CV та супровідний лист англійською мовою на email@example.com. (Translated by lindat.cz/translation)
11. 3. 2022
Our Centre is ready to actively participate. You can find more information from the Academy of Sciences here.
CLASS will take part in the project focused on establishing a network of European research centres dealing with climate law
11. 3. 2022
Our Centre participated in the preparation of the project submitted by Hasselt University as project coordinator to the Research Foundation – Flanders FWO. The project called Climate Change Law in Europe succeeded and we will be part of an international consortium for the next 5 years. Other participating institutions are Ghent University, University of Antwerp, University of Copenhagen, University of Eastern Finland, University of Strathclyde Law School and the Institute of State and Law of the CAS through the CLASS research unit. The aim of the project is to lay the basis for a European network of research centres dealing with climate law. Such a network does not yet exist (unlike environmental law). The scope of the project will look more closely at four content pillars - a just transition to a low-carbon economy, the relationship between human rights and climate change, biodiversity and climate change, and innovation in governance in relation to climate change. The CLASS Centre is to co-ordinate the 'human rights' pillar. The project will organise workshops and conferences, produce joint publications, organise postdoctoral exchanges and visits to participating institutions, and organise a summer school on climate law.
Online lecture by Prof. Kim Bouwer: Climate Litigation and Climate Activism
1. 3. 2022
Kim Bouwer is Assistant Professor at the Durham Law School, University of Durham, UK. Previously she was a Lecturer in Law at the Exeter Law School, a Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute (Florence), a Lecturer at the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow), and a Teaching Fellow at University College London (London and Adelaide). Her research interests include climate law - with a particular interest in climate litigation, covering climate litigation in Africa, too. Her other favourite topics include human rights perspective on climate change, equity and justice in relation to climate law, and climate activism in connection to climate litigation. Prof. Bouwer has authored and co-authored several books and articles on these topics.
In her lecture, prof. Bouwer interlinks climate litigation and climate activism in two ways: an activist litigation, and a litigation as just one of the tools of climate activism. She illustrates her explanation with many UK and other climate cases, trying to answer the following set of questions: What is climate litigation? Why are there no successful climate cases in the UK? Her core argument is that there are in fact more successful climate litigations in the UK than one would think because there is a need to pay attention not only to the cases that appear in newspaper headlines but to any kind of adjudication with the outcome that can affect climate policy.
The lecture was given on 16 December 2021. The recording of the lecture is available on our You Tube channel here.
Post-doctoral Researcher Vacancy
14. 1. 2022
Institute of State and Law of the CAS invites applications for a part-time position (36 hours/week) as Junior Researcher (Postdoctoral Researcher) in Climate Law starting January 2022 (start possible immediately). The vacancy is now open as a maternity leave substitute (until at least September 2022; continuation possible when satisfaction on both sides). The position involves research in the field of climate law. We are looking for someone with expertise / interest in international climate law, EU climate law and/or climate litigation. Particular emphasis is placed on addressing urgent contemporary challenges such as law aspects of just transition, human rights and climate change or climate and gender. You will find the full decription of the call here.
Winter issue of our newsletter
21. 12. 2021
The last edition of our newsletter in 2021 is available here, bringing news in the area of sustainability and climate change law and policy in the Czech Republic. In the English version of this issue you will find out about how we assess the results of the Czech Autumn parliamentary elections from the environmental and climate point of view; how the first Czech climate litigation has developed; whether the Czech Republic has been fulfilling its own Climate Protection Policy; how the Czech representatives and law support nuclear energy; that several Czech energy suppliers went bankrupt; and much more!
If you wish to receive our future newsletters in your mailbox, you can subscribe here.
Conference on Human Rights and Climate change: Last registration call
16. 11. 2021
The registration for the in-person attendance at our Friday conference on Human Rights and Climate Change has been already closed but you can still register for the online participation until Thursday 18 November 9:00. The conference programme and registration form can be found here.
ELSA interns within the team of CLASS in Autumn
8. 11. 2021
During September to November, three ELSA student interns have been working with our team: Pamela Alvarez from France, focusing on climate justice and French climate law; Aleksi Heikkinen from Finland who concetrated on the impacts of the European climate package Fit for 55 on aviation and on the upcoming amendment of the Finnish climate law during his traineeeship; and Irene Sacchetti from Italy, whose main topic has been the relationship between climate migration and human rights, as well as gender aspects of climate change impacts.
Climate litigation discussed with the delegation from the German Federal Administrative Court
3. 11. 2021
On 1 November, a delegation of judges, assistant judges and other expert staff of the German Bundesverwaltungsgericht from Leipzig visited the Institute of State and Law. In the first part of the meeting, the Director of the Institute of State and Law Ján Matejka presented the mission and activities of our institution, the second part was devoted to a discussion on the legal protection of the environment and climate in Germany and the Czech Republic. The subject of the debate was, among others, the constitutional right to a favourable environment in the Czech Republic, the first climate judgment of the German Federal Constitutional Court from this spring, and the first Czech climate lawsuit.
Online lecture by Prof. Annalisa Savaresi: When the stars do not align: Understanding the two sides of rights-based climate litigation
29. 10. 2021
Annalisa Savaresi is Associate Professor of International Environmental Law at the Center for Climate Change, Energy and Environmental Law, University of Eastern Finland, where she serves as Director for the Joint Nordic Master Programme in Environmental Law. She furthermore holds a senior research post at the University of Stirling, UK and visiting professorships at the University of Bologna (Italy) and the University of La Sabana (Colombia). Annalisa is an expert in climate change law, with 20 years’ experience working with international and nongovernmental organizations. She has written extensively on the relationship between human rights and climate change law. Her work has been cited widely, including by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Annalisa currently is Director for Europe of the Global Network on Human Rights and the Environment, associate editor of the Review of European, Comparative and International Law and member of the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law. She has given evidence to the UK, the EU and Scottish Parliaments and sits on the Board of Environmental Standards Scotland, the new body scrutinising Scottish public authorities’ compliance with environmental law established by the UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Act 2021.
In her lecture, prof. Savaresi explains the current growth in climate litigation worldwide within various litigation fora (international, regional and national), and describes the main trends in the right-based litigation, both pro-climate and anti-climate. She analyses the types of substantive and procedural human rights obligations most commonly invoked in climate litigation, and also outlines some future prospects of climate litigation in the international and national human rights institutions.
The lecture was given on 14 October 2021.
The recording of the lecture is available on our You Tube channel here.
Conference on Human Rights and Climate change: Programme and registration
25. 10. 2021
We have just published the programme and opened registration for the International Conference on Human Rights and Climate Change, which we will be hosting on Friday 19 November 2021. The conference will be held in a hybrid format (in person and online via Zoom). You will hear presentations from distinguished international and Czech experts on the human rights impacts of climate change. The conference programme and registration form can be found here.
15. 10. 2021
Final consumption represents ca. 65% of total GDP in the OECD countries . With the growing economic awareness of finite resources and raw materials, changing consumer patterns toward more green and sustainable consumption become, a target for academic debate and governmental policy since the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. However, from the legal point of view, legislative instruments are very rarely used for a more sustainable nudging of end-consumers via choice-editing, pricing or taxation; and intertwining environmental and consumer law is still missing. These lacks are even more visible in the Czech Republic and other newer EU Member States with a communist past. European consumer law puts more effort into the achievement of the single market, which is key to in stimulating European economic growth, rather than reducing consumerism. The focus of legal debates tends to be problems concerning withdrawal rights, repair instead of replace, clear eco-information and surveillance of greenwashing. Effective incentives for share rather than drive or buy are missing. On the other hand, consumer choice is limited to the products available on the markets, and more than 80% of a product´s environmental impact is determined at the design stage, according to the statistics.
The Rita's presentation clarifies the limits of citizens’ capacity for sustainable consumption and deals with the role that average consumers play in the supply chain (1), and underlines the necessity of a two-pronged approach to promoting sustainable consumption between sustainable production – and less consumption (2). The presentation was recorded for and delivered at the International online conference Social and Scientific Uncertainties in Environmental Law (EELF Annual Conference 2021) that was held by the Bournemouth University on 8-10 September 2021.
The recording of the presentation is available on our You Tube channel here.
Online lecture by Prof. Philippe Cullet from University of London: The Right to Water in the Context of Climate Change
12. 10. 2021
Prof. Philippe Cullet from the University of London was our online guest on 30 September 2021. In his lecture "The Right to Water in the Context of Climate Change" he first focused on the concept of the human right to water. He described the current findings and considerations on its recognition, distinguished the notions of “water rights” and “right to water”, commented on the content of the right from the quality and quantity point of view, as well as from the perspectives of the access to water and affordability of water. In the second part of his lecture, prof. Cullet concentrated on the interlinkages between the right to water and climate change. He mentioned problems like water scarcity and water overabundance, inter-sectoral allocation of water, economic policies and international water law references to climate change.
Prof. Cullet is a Professor of international and environmental law. He is the chair of the Centre of Law, Environment and Development and a member of the SOAS South Asia Institute, of the Centre for Water and Development, as well as of the Centre for Human Rights Law. His main areas of interest include environmental law, natural resources, human rights and the socio-economic aspects of intellectual property. His current research includes work on water law and governance. Prof. Cullet has authored several monographs, also including the topics of environmental law and water law. His professional interests also led him to India where he works as a senior visiting fellow in New Delhi.
The recording of the lecture is available on our You Tube channel here.
12. 10. 2021
The presentation by Hana Müllerová explains the principle of precaution and its application in climate law. It focuses on the main elements of the principle with a special focus on the element of scientific uncertainty. In that regard, it describes the role of the IPCC Panel and tries to explain its so called “uncertainty language” to climate lawyers.
The recording was made at the internal seminar of CLASS on 16 September 2021.
The recording of the lecture is available on our You Tube channel here.
New edition of our newsletter released
29. 9. 2021
The Autumn edition of our newsletter is available here, bringing news in the area of sustainability and climate change law and policy in the Czech Republic. In the English version of the newsletter you can read for instance on how the Czech legislation plans to support renewables, what the Czech transport policy needs to be more climate friendly, on what arguments the Czech Supreme Administrative Court rejected the first lawsuit interlinking the Covid-19 measures, climate change and the right to environment, what is new with the Turów case, or that the investigation of the river Bečva ecological disaster remains unfinished even after a year.
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Hana Müllerová presented on collissions between nature protection and wind energy interests
17. 9. 2021
The presentation examines the instruments that law can use to solve collisions between interests, on an example of collisions between wind farms and nature protection. The first part focuses on the status and weight that protection to species, habitats and birds have had in EU legislation, compared to the legislative support for wind energy, representing renewables. Then, the most common procedural instruments are presented that help coordinating public and private interests, such as territorial planning processes, environmental impact assessment, and public participation in environmental decision-making. The presentation was recorded for and delivered at the International online conference Social and Scientific Uncertainties in Environmental Law (EELF Annual Conference 2021) that was held by the Bournemouth University on 8-10 September 2021.
The recording of the presentation is available on our You Tube channel here.
Climate litigation topic on the Prague Narodni TEDx
22. 7. 2021
At the end of June, a TEDx Narodni event was held in Prague, with the title We can change climate change: Countdown to a healthier future. The main theme of the event was climate crisis and the ways how to accelerate and increase the efficacy of the transition to a low carbon economy. The event was targeted at interconnecting experts from various fields and searching for the most efficient climate solutions. We are glad that a member of our team Eva Balounova was among the speakers on the second day of the event. She presented the topic of climate litigation as one of the promising law approaches to stronger climate protection.
30 June 2021
In the latest edition of the CLASS newsletter, we are bringing news on the first Czech climate litigation brought to court, on the development in the Czech coal phase-out plans in the government, on the most recent developments in the Turów coal mine case, or on the new ambitious climate plan of the Prague capital city. Enjoy reading!
PS You can find all previous issues of our newsletter here.
Online lecture of Prof. Mary Wood (Uni Oregon): Atmospheric Trust Litigation Against Governments to Force Action on Carbon Reduction
11 May 2021
Professor Wood will describe lawsuits filed against governments in the U.S. and across the world to force carbon emissions reduction. She will compare judicial approaches between courts in various countries. She will emphasize the role of science in these lawsuits and define a productive judicial role in verifying appropriate climate targets for nations irrespective of political commitments.
Mary Christina Wood is a Philip H. Knight Professor of Law at the University of Oregon and the Faculty Director of the law school's nationally acclaimed Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center. She is an award-winning professor and the co-author of leading textbooks on public trust law and natural resources law. Her book, Nature's Trust: Environmental Law for a New Ecological Age (Cambridge University Press), sets forth a new paradigm of global ecological responsibility. She originated the legal approach called Atmospheric Trust Litigation, now being used in cases brought on behalf of youth throughout the world, seeking to hold governments accountable to reduce carbon pollution within their jurisdictions. She has developed a corresponding approach called Atmospheric Recovery Litigation, which would hold fossil fuel companies responsible for funding an Atmospheric Recovery Plan to draw down excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere using natural climate solutions. Professor Wood is a frequent speaker on climate issues and has received national and international attention for her sovereign trust approach to global climate policy.
The lecture will take place on 13 May at 5 PM (CEST). To attend, please register at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPDATED: The recording of the lecture is available here.
New edition of our newsletter released
31 March 2021
The spring edition of our newsletter is available here. We are bringing news in the area of climate change law and policy in the Czech Republic; in the English version of the newsletter you can read for instance on the air quality in Czechia; on the development in low-emissioon vehicles share in both passenger cars and commercial sphere; or on the limitation of public participation of NGOs in administrative proceedings.
Josef Vavrousek Award 2020 for our team member Eva Balounova
28 January 2021
Congratulations to Eva Balounova who received the first prize in the category of doctoral theses with her work on Legal regulation of climate protection following the adoption of the Paris Agreement. Eva's thesis was successfully defended at the Environmental Law Department of the Faculty of Law, Charles University in Prague. Josef Vavrousek Award is a Czech universities competition of qualification theses with topics related to the environmental protection, sustainability or human-nature relations. It bears the name of the Czech environmentalist, the first Czech Minister of the Environment after the so-called Velvet Revolution of 1989.
In our winter newsletter: Czech Coal Commission decided on coal phase-out, Bečva river poisoned, and more
18 December 2020
Here, you can read our winter newsletter. We offer all important information on the recent decision of the Coal Commission that voted for 2038 to finish the Czech coal phase-out; how to assess this decision from the perspective of the Paris climate targets, and whether the situation is comparable to Germany that selected the same year for their coal phase-out. Moreover, we summarize what we’ve known on the catastrophic September ecological disaster on the Bečva river. We also add new information about the plans on the new nuclear unit at the Dukovany power plant, and several other interesting topics. Do you wish to receive our future newsletters in your mailbox? Just subscribe here.
CLASS to join a successful SOLSTICE project!
9 October 2020
JPI Climate is a European initiative to coordinate climate research and fund new transnational research initiatives to provide knowledge for climate action. The Czech Republic is one of the countries involved in its Joint Programming Initiative "Connecting Climate Knowledge for Europe". The Joint Transnational Call on "Enabling Societal Transformation in the Face of Climate Change" – SOLSTICE brought seven winning projects of international research consortia. One of them is the JUSTDECARB project - „Socially Just and Politically Robust Decarbonisation: A Knowledge Base and Toolkit for Policymakers“. Centre for Climate Law and Sustainability Studies is a member of its consortium led by the CICERO Center for International Climate Research (Oslo). The 3-year project brings together social science and humanities researchers from four disciplines (philosophy, political science, economics, and law) across four countries (Austria, Czech Republic, Norway, and UK). The law part of the project that will be addressed by CLASS will primarily focus on human rights and law principles as criteria for assessing climate policies.
The autumn edition of our newsletter
7 October 2020
The latest edition of the CLASS newsletter is available! We are bringing news in the area of climate change law and policy in the Czech Republic, namely on the preparation of the first Czech climate lawsuit, on the latest court's decision in the Prague Airport runway case, on drafted new legislation in the building sector and the waste a plastics sector, or on cycling in the Czech cities.If you wish to receive our future newsletters in your mailbox, you can subscribe here.
We are inviting you to our blog
28 September 2020
With its format, our “comments” section is close to a blog. We pick up topical issues on climate policy and law in Czechia and comment on them. In our last posts, we brought some new details of the prepared first Czech climate lawsuit, criticized the environmental aspects of the draft Czech new Building Act, or assessed the Czech climate policies. Enjoy the reading!
The Centre for Climate Law and Sustainability Studies presented at the Czech Academic Climate Forum
13 July 2020
The Czech Academic Climate Forum was established in 2013 by a common manifesto of almost thirty experts (in Czech only). It works as an informal platform of researchers and experts drawing attention to the effects of climate change in the Czech Republic, and offers its knowledge, findings and contexts to policy makers, business, media and the education system. It looks for synergies across disciplines and calls for scientific knowledge to be considered, interpreted and communicated in order to raise public awareness. The June meeting of the Forum was held at the UN Information Centre Prague. There, the mission, goals and plans of the Center for Climate Law and Sustainability Studies were presented by Hana Müllerová; the relationship between climate science and law was then the main topic of the discussion.
8 July 2020
The summer edition of our newsletter is available here, bringing news in the area of climate change law and policy in the Czech Republic; in the English version of the newsletter you can read for instance on phasing out coal in Czechia, on planning a new nuclear reactor (as the Czech government insists on taking nuclear energy as a low-emission source of energy), on proposing a cut-back in state support for solar installations or on reservations expressed by Czech officials about the EU Recovery Fund. If you wish to receive our future newsletters in your mailbox, you can subscribe here.
You can join us at Twitter and Facebook!
15 June 2020
5 May 2020
We have just released the first newsletter of our Centre. We would like to bring news in the area of climate change law and sustainability; our English version of the newsletter is specifically focused on news from the Czech Republic that otherwise might miss you. You can read the newsletter here.
CLASS team working from home
31 March 2020
The Institute of State and Law of the Czech Academy of Sciences has temporarily closed its physical offices in Prague in response to COVID-19. The team at the Centre for Climate Law and Sustainability Studies are all working remotely, from home. We are learning new ways of continuing our research and looking for innovative and creative opportunities to communicate our findings, including via digital gatherings and virtual meeting technologies. The COVID-19 topic has taken over the public space and seems to have temporarily eclipsed the climate change debate. However, we are progressing with our work, hoping that our communities will overcome the crisis together and that afterwards we will be able again to present our findings and publications at personal meetings and conferences that are currently impossible.
The Centre for Climate Law and Sustainability Studies (CLASS) launched research
20 January 2020
The new research unit, the first in the Czech Republic with a specialisation in climate law, was set up at the Institute of State and Law of the Czech Academy of Sciences. A team of law researchers and a climatologist will study the contemporary challenges and problems that climate change poses to law at all levels. The members of the Centre will steer the new discipline into Czech law scholarship and cultivate and present it systematically through conferences, workshops, expert lectures and publications, as well as by presenting their findings on the Centre’s website. They will develop interdisciplinary collaboration and establish contacts and cooperation with other climate law research teams in Europe. The creation of the new research unit has been realised thanks to the kind support of the Czech Academy of Sciences through a ‘Lumina quaeruntur’ academic award that was granted to our researcher Hana Müllerová to run her climate law project over the next five years. Her new team will examine the environmental law aspects of the consequences of climate change, as well as related issues such as legal links between climate change and protection of human rights, the regulation of energy, transport, emission trading systems and international trade and investment. The focus of the Centre will cover International, European and Czech law. At the level of national law, the team plans to stimulate better implementation of our climate commitments and to provide expert recommendations and opinions to Czech legislative and other public bodies.
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