Dr Benjamin Franta

Senior Research Fellow in Climate Litigation


Dr Benjamin Franta is a Senior Research Fellow in Climate Litigation at the Oxford Sustainable Law Programme. 

His work focuses on applying rigorous research methods to practical challenges presented by climate change litigation around the world. His work has been published in numerous venues including Nature Climate ChangeGlobal Environmental ChangeThe Guardian, and American Bar Association Trends, has been cited in the U.S. Congressional Record, and translated into 10 languages. 

Dr Franta holds a PhD in Applied Physics from Harvard University, a JD from Stanford Law School, an MSc in Archaeological Science from the University of Oxford, a BA in Physics and Mathematics from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and is completing a separate PhD in History from Stanford University. He is a licensed attorney and a member of the State Bar of California.

Publications, legal briefs, and media appearances:

  • Black Gold, Paramount+ (featured, May 17, 2022).
  • The Power of Big Oil, PBS Frontline (featured, April 19, 2022).
  • Delta Merner, Benjamin Franta, Peter Frumhoff, 2022, Identifying Gaps in Climate-Litigation-Relevant Research: An Assessment from Interviews with Legal Scholars and Practitioners (policy briefing), Climate Social Science Network.
  • Akriti Bhargava, Benjamin Franta, Karla Martínez Toral, Aradhna Tandon, 2022, Climate-Washing Litigation: Legal Liability for Misleading Climate Communications (policy briefing), Climate Social Science Network.
  • Climate Litigation Rising: Hot Spots to Watch, Trends (American Bar Association) (Dec. 22, 2021).
  • State of Delaware v. BP America Inc., et al., No. 22-1096 (3rd Circuit), Brief of Amici Curiae Robert Brulle, Center for Climate Integrity, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Justin Farrell, Benjamin Franta, Stephan Lewandowsky, Naomi Oreskes, Geoffrey Supran, and the Union of Concerned Scientists in Support of Plaintiff-Appellee and Affirmance. Filed April 21, 2022.
  • The Other Merchants of Doubt: Big Oil’s Economists, London School of Economics Business Review (Sept. 16, 2021).
  • Benjamin Franta, Christophe Bonneuil, Pierre-Louis Choquet (co-first authors), 2021, Early Warnings and Emerging Accountability: Total’s Responses to Global Warming, 1971–2021, Global Environmental Change (#1 trending geography article worldwide over prior year).
  • Benjamin Franta, 2021, Weaponizing Economics: Big Oil, Economic Consultants, and Climate Policy Delay, Environmental Politics, DOI: 10.1080/09644016.2021.1947636 (#1 trending political science article worldwide over prior year).
  • The Enablers: The Firms Behind Fossil Fuel Falsehoods, Climate One (podcast and radio, Feb. 11, 2022).
  • Benjamin Franta, 2021, Early Oil Industry Disinformation on Global Warming, Environmental Politics 30:4.
  • Benjamin Franta, 2018, Early Oil Industry Knowledge of CO2 and Global Warming, Nature Climate Change8:1024–26.
  • Big Oil Holds ‘Fate of the Planet in Their Hands’: A Look at the Industry’s Disinformation Campaign, NPR Here & Now (WBUR) (radio, Oct. 28, 2021).
  • Climate : Les Pétroliers Savaient (Climate: Tankers Knew), France Televisions (France 2) (television, Oct, 22, 2021).
  • Shell and Exxon's Secret 1980s Climate Change Warnings, The Guardian (Sept. 19, 2018).
  • Global Warming's Paper Trail, Project Syndicate (Sept. 12, 2018; translated into nine languages and syndicated worldwide).
  • On its 100th Birthday in 1959, Edward Teller Warned the Oil Industry about Global Warming, The Guardian (Jan. 1, 2018)
  • Exposing Climate Change Obstruction. Project Syndicate (July 25, 2017; translated into 10 languages and syndicated worldwide).
  • Benjamin Franta, Eric Mazur, S.K. Sundaram, 2017, Ultrafast Laser Processing of Silicon for Photovoltaics, International Materials Reviews, DOI: 10.1080/09506608.2017.1389547.
  • Benjamin Franta, 2017, Litigation in the Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement, Law & Policy 39: 393–411.
  • Benjamin Franta, Hilly Ann Roa-Quiaoit, Dexter Lo, Gemma Narisma, 2016, Climate Disasters in the Philippines: A Case Study of Immediate Causes and Root Drivers from Cagayan de Oro, Mindanao and Tropical Storm Sendong/Washi, Harvard Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs Report.
  • Benjamin Franta, David Pastor, Hemi H. Gandhi, Paul H. Rekemeyer, Silvija Gradečak, Michael J. Aziz, Eric Mazur, 2015, Simultaneous High Crystallinity and Sub-Bandgap Optical Absorptance in Hyperdoped Black Silicon Using Nanosecond Laser Annealing, Journal of Applied Physics 118:225303.