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Harnessing the law to tackle climate change at COP26

Posted on 1 November 2021

Mishcon de Reya is attending COP26, the 2021 United Nations climate change conference.

We believe COP26 is an important opportunity to highlight the impact that the law and purposeful lawyers can have in tackling climate change. Working with clients and partners, our team will be presenting findings from work pursuant to our Climate Change Strategy, bringing people together, broadcasting and talking with experts.

In particular, we will be working to highlight the plight of the communities most affected by climate change, presenting the findings of The Global Youth Climate Inquiry and our insights from the Climate Migration Project, and promoting initiatives for the legal sector, including the Greener Litigation Project.

Details of some of the key initiatives we will be sharing and supporting at COP26 are below.

The Global Youth Climate Inquiry – in partnership with One Young World and the Democracy and Culture Foundation

Globally, young people are the most impacted by climate change, yet they are the least enfranchised.

Working with One Young World and the Democracy and Culture Foundation, we have held The Global Youth Climate Inquiry, hearing evidence from global youth leaders on how climate change is impacting them and understanding how they can be better enfranchised in decision-making and action taking.

We have conducted panel events with exceptional young leaders from around the world, along with experts in law, politics, education, communications and business. The young leaders were able to benefit from the expertise of the panellists, forge new relationships and encourage intergenerational dialogue.

The Inquiry's final report and findings will be delivered on 8 November at the Extreme Youth Hangout, the youth fringe event for COP26.

Climate Migration Project

The Climate Migration Project is designed to raise awareness and provide impetus to the global conversation surrounding climate migration. It involves working with stakeholders to explore the intersection between climate change and its effect on displaced communities and patterns of migration. The Project aims to put the issue of climate migration not only on the agenda for COP26 but also further long term discussions about the future of the UK's immigration system in dealing with affected and/or displaced individuals.

Greener Litigation Pledge

We are working with the legal community to encourage sign ups to the Greener Litigation Pledge, a commitment to reduce the environmental impact of dispute resolution.

Greener Litigation is a collective of solicitors' firms, barristers' chambers and other disputes professionals actively committed to reducing the environmental impact of dispute resolution and litigation conducted in the courts of England and Wales.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, HFW and Simmons and Simmons are among the other law firms who have signed the Greener Litigation Pledge, the first act of the Greener Litigation Project, which aims to reduce the carbon footprint of court disputes in line with the objective of restricting global warming to 1.5°C as set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Law Society's Climate Change Resolution

We have also joined the Law Society’s Climate Change Resolution. This statement sets out detailed commitments to tackling the climate crisis and urges the legal profession to commit to acting consistent with international and national legislative targets on climate change to futureproof their provision of legal services.

Little Amal and The Walk

We are proud to be a partner of Good Chance Theatre and support Little Amal's attendance at COP26.

Little Amal is a 3.5m puppet of a 10-year-old Syrian refugee. She has been the centrepiece of The Walk, a four month long travelling festival of art and hope over 8000 kilometres from the Syrian border to Manchester, created by Good Chance Theatre and Handspring Puppet Company.

Little Amal has been invited to open the Gender Day Plenary in the COP26 Blue Zone, representing young women and girls from the global south on this world stage.

Many of the young people Amal met on her journey have been forced to leave their homes due to violence, persecution, war or poverty – circumstances often caused or heightened by the climate crisis.

Times Earth Hub panel discussion

On Thursday 4 November, Alexander Rhodes, Head of Mishcon Purpose, will participate in a panel discussion, "Human Rights and Governance as the frontline victims of climate change: in conversation", as part of the Times Earth Hub in association with Greenlit.


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