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Climate Law and Science


Our research on climate science and the law provides a robust body of scientific research that informs legal claims and policy. We work with partners to understand emerging evidentiary questions that arise in climate lawsuits and policy development. We also consider how scientific evidence has been used and interpreted in past cases to facilitate improved use of scientific research in the courts. Working with the Environmental Change Institute (ECI) we strengthen the link between greenhouse gas emissions and climate impacts, in science and in law.

Our work

Our work integrates climate science with legal research and practice. We work in close partnership with the Environmental Change Institute, a world leader in the science of climate change attribution, and a lead partner on the World Weather Attribution initiative. We are embedded in a large close-knit network of scientists around the world at the cutting edge of this field and actively collaborate with scientists from a range of different disciplines. Our research has identified current and potential barriers to, and opportunities for, using the latest scientific evidence in courts. We also conduct research that evaluates the factual basis for causal claims made in pending and future litigation and provide scientific advice to lawyers.

Our research develops new methodologies in attribution science, for instance in attributing health impacts to greenhouse-gas emissions, and frameworks for integrating climate-science evidence into legal argumentation to facilitate wider use of scientific evidence in litigation. To achieve these goals, our team works with strategic litigants to map and/or develop the evidence base for ongoing or future cases.

The growth in legal action around climate change offers opportunities to accelerate the transition to a net-zero economy but the financial implications of climate litigation remain poorly understood. We work with private-sector actors and leading academics across the University of Oxford and beyond to assess, quantify, and reveal the materiality of these risks.

What we've achieved

Recent research highlights


  • Fredi Otto | Senior Lecturer in Climate Science, Faculty of Natural Sciences, The Grantham Institute for Climate Change, Imperial College London
  • Aisha Saad | Earl B. Dickerson Fellow, Instructor of Law, University of Chicago Law School
  • Lucy Temple | Research Assistant, Climate change attribution of multiple sclerosis symptoms

Contact us

If you have any questions about this workstream, would like to learn more, or want to get involved: please contact Rupert Stuart-Smith. For general questions about the programme please email Oxford Sustainable Law Programme information.