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  • Climate Science and the Law

    07 December 2017

    This event is organised by ClientEarth and the Oxford Martin School

    On behalf of ClientEarth and the Oxford Martin School, we are writing to invite you to a seminar entitled ‘Climate Science and the Law’ to be held at SCI London at 6:00 pm on 7 December 2017.

    Climate change will be the most disruptive and defining force of this century. After a series of extraordinary climate-related weather events around the world in 2017, those affected are asking questions about responsibility, accountability, justice and future resilience. There is growing interest in how the law and the courts will shape and be shaped by climate change and its impacts.

    Through event attribution studies, scientists can now identify the human influence on changes in the frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events, such as heatwaves, droughts and storms. The information these studies provide about the increased risk of certain weather events could be crucial evidence in climate change litigation. This is because it particularises damage to the regional or local level, and it demonstrates the foreseeability of harm which is a key requirement in establishing a duty of care in many legal systems.

    These recent scientific advances, together with increasing litigation, and the historic reliance of environmental courts on science, has created the need for a critical and early interdisciplinary dialogue between scientists and lawyers working on climate issues.

    Drawing on a recent paper in Nature Geoscience, we will bring together leading scientists in probabilistic event attribution, lawyers and academics to discuss the intersection of event attribution science and the law. We will discuss the basic methodologies used in event attribution studies, the admissibility of statistical evidence in court, and the potential implications for common law claims against those with duties to protect society from foreseeable risks.

    Speakers will include:

    • Friederike Otto of the Oxford Martin School
    • Leigh-Ann Mulcahy QC, Fountain Court Chambers
    • Lindene Patton, Earth and Water Group, Washington DC
    • Others TBC.

    The event will be recorded and screened as a webinar, to allow participation by attendees and speakers from different continents. Dial in details will be provided to those with Webinar tickets closer to the event date.

    Please sign up via this Eventbrite link and share this invitation among your networks: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/climate-science-and-the-law-seminar-tickets-39140855352

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