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September 8, 2023

Editor’s note: the costs of climate lawsuits and this week’s climate talks

Shell petrol tankers
The court ruled against ClientEarth after it tried to establish that Shell’s board directors held a personal responsibility for the oil major’s disappointing climate policy (Photo: Peter Boer/Bloomberg)

The latest edition of our Sustainable Views newsletter

Dear reader,

Let’s wrap up the week with our summary of key ESG news, including the English High Court decision to have ClientEarth foot the bill for Shell’s legal costs after the non-profit unsuccessfully tried to establish that the oil major’s board directors held a personal responsibility for the company’s disappointing climate policy. 

This, says law firm Cleary Gottlieb, could dissuade other NGOs, or any other party, from using this novel claim structure: “the risk of an adverse costs order is a significant disincentive”. It was the first time a climate lawsuit took aim at corporate directors for allegedly failing to ensure their company has adequate green transition plans.

Keen to hear other lawyers’ views on this. Meanwhile, you’ll find more on this and other interesting news in our round-up.

As promised, we’re also sharing a summary of key points from this week’s Africa Climate Summit and Finance in Common Summit – the latter gathering development banks to discuss climate change and sustainable development, among other topics. 

The need for richer countries’ greater commitment in supporting the green transition was made clear in both. Read Philippa’s report for the key numbers and some interesting views from the events.

Lastly, you may wish to see which topics proved more popular this week. Below you’ll find our most-read articles, along with a suggestion from the team.

Happy reading,


Silvia Pavoni is the editor of Sustainable Views


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