Natural Justice has developed a series of summaries of significant court cases from across the world related to climate change and rights of nature. These are designed for the public, policy makers and practitioners and provide a snapshot of cases that are being brought to courts in order to advance the protection and rights of nature, including seeking ways to hold governments accountable for their international commitments to reducing carbon emissions.
Shrestha v. Office of the Prime Minister et al.
The applicant filed an application to compel the government of Nepal to enact a new climate change law, arguing that the Environmental Protection Act of 1997 did not adequately address environmental issues associated with climate change and that the Climate Change Policy of 2011 had not implemented. When the government failed to respond to this request for new climate legislation, the applicant filed a petition with the Supreme Court of Nepal to issue a writ of mandamus or similar appropriate order to enact a climate law. Applicant argued that this failure to enact a new climate change law resulted in Nepalese residents and ecosystems experiencing grave climate impacts. The applicant asserted that the government’s inaction on climate change violated the rights to a dignified life and a healthy environment guaranteed in the Constitution of Nepal, as well as Nepal’s commitments under the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement.