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Climate Law Matters Podcast

Steph David, a barrister at 39 Essex Chambers, investigates the key legal developments, across both public and private law, in addressing the most pressing challenge of our generation, climate change. Through this podcast, she interviews leaders in their fields, and across a range of sectors, to understand (i) the key developments as they see them and (ii) the role for litigation and regulation in those developments, including any legal barriers.

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Episode 17: Interview with Catherine Dobson – The UK’s Net Zero plans are declared unlawful, again

On 3 May 2024, the UK’s plan to meet the Sixth Carbon Budget set under the Climate Change Act 2008 (‘CCA 2008’) was declared unlawful for the second time by the High Court J in R (Friends of the Earth & Oths) v Secretary of State for Energy Secur... Read more  

Episode 16: Interview with Ruth Chambers – Environmental Improvement at a crossroads

Ruth Chambers, Senior Fellow at Green Alliance, discusses the Office for Environmental Protection’s recent annual statutory report, published on 18 January 2023, and shares her views, more generally, on the role and effectiveness of the Environment A... Read more  

Episode 15: Interview with Alex Lee – The precautionary principle from the perspective of a scientist – Part 2

Dr Alex Lee delves further into the role of the precautionary principle in the context of climate modelling to assess resilience – essential in adapting to climate change. He considers the case study of landfill sites and caps; and how their vulnerab... Read more  

Episode 14: Interview with Alex Lee – The precautionary principle from the perspective of a scientist – Part 1

Climate modelling is growing in importance in disputes, such as investor state disputes concerned with climate attribution. Dr Alex Lee, Chartered Geologist and Scientist, head of the environmental and climate change team at HKA, explains how climate... Read more  

Episode 13: Interview with Elsie Blackshaw-Crosby – Lifescape Project and the Biomass Strategy

The Lifescape Project is concerned with creating a world rich in wild landscapes through a multi-disciplinary approach.  Elsie Blackshaw-Crosby, Managing Lawyer at the charity, discusses her journey and how she ended up working with the project befor... Read more  

Episode 12: Interview with Paul Redington – The Unintended Consequences of Solar: an Insurer's Perspective

Whilst recognising the importance of renewable energy sources, Paul Redington, regional major loss property claims manager at Zurich, emphasises the need to be aware of the risks associated with sustainable energy source; and consider how they should... Read more  

Episode 11: Interview with Rachel O’Connor – Insect protein for animal feed

Whilst there has been a shift in the UK to less meat and dairy consumption, globally the amount consumed is only likely increase. A significant proportion of animal feed is soya, which is imported from South America. Rachel O’Connor explains why usin... Read more  

Episode 10: Interview with David Rouch - Investing for Sustainability Impact - Part 2

In the last episode, David Rouch provided an overview of a report that he co-authored, entitled “A Legal Framework For Impact: Sustainability Impact in Investor Decision-making” – a report commissioned by UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative, ... Read more  

Episode 9: Interview with David Rouch - Investing for Sustainability Impact - Part 1

David Rouch is a financial services partner at Freshfields with expertise in sustainable investing. He is the author of the “Social Licence For Financial Markets: Reaching For The End And Why It Counts” (Palgrave Macmillan 2020), as well as the co-au... Read more  

Episode 8: Interview with Kate Tandy – Office for Environmental Protection

Kate Tandy is the Head of Litigation and Casework at the Office for Environmental Protection (“OEP”). In this episode, Kate explains what the OEP is and how it prioritises its work, particularly given the multiple environmental crises from climate ch... Read more  

Episode 7: Interview with Dr Anna McClean – Part 2 – Deep Geothermal Energy

Dr McClean continues her interview with Steph David. In this episode, Dr McClean discusses deep geothermal energy and how it is regulated, including both the environmental and financial risks associated with this form of energy. She considers the ext... Read more  

Episode 6: Interview with Dr Anna McClean – Part 1 – Geothermal Energy

Dr McClean is an expert in the regulation of geothermal energy. She is a lecturer at the University of Newcastle and a researcher on a geothermal energy heating project. In this episode, she shares her views on the potential of geothermal energy in t... Read more  

Episode 5: Interview with Professor Sir Dieter Helm – Energy trilemma, energy security plan and carbon leakage risk

Professor Sir Dieter Helm is a Professor of Economic Policy at the University of Oxford and Fellow in Economics at New College, Oxford. From 2012 to 2020, he was the Independent Chair of the Natural Capital Committee, providing advice to the governme... Read more  

Episode 4: Interview with Stephen Tromans KC – Part 4 – Public trust doctrine, the future of public interest climate change litigation and expert analysis

In mid-February, Lang J granted permission to proceed to the Marine Conservation Society, Richard Haward’s Oysters and Hugo Tagholm in their challenge to the Storm Overflows Reduction Plan, which, it is contended, will allow untreated sewage into wat... Read more  

Episode 3: Interview with Stephen Tromans KC – Part 3 – Principles of sustainable development and the precautionary principle

Sustainable development and the precautionary principle are seen as important principles in improving environmental standards. In this episode, Stephen Tromans KC and Steph David discuss the extent to which these principles can be deployed in public ... Read more  

Episode 2: Interview with Stephen Tromans KC – Part 2 – Environmental judicial reviews and the role of the Paris Agreement

By the Aarhus Convention, the state parties recognised the importance of citizens having access to environmental information and access to environmental justice. Indeed, public interest judicial reviews brought by individuals and campaigning organisa... Read more  

Episode 1: Interview with Stephen Tromans KC – Part 1 – Net Zero Strategy 2.0

Last year, the Net Zero Plan was found to be unlawful by Holgate J. On 30 March 2023, what has been dubbed “Green day”, the Government published its Net Zero Growth Plan alongside a suite of policy documents and consultations. In this episode, Stephe... Read more