Legal Research Priorities in Climate Change

- 8 September 2020

Trade topics: Trade and Environment, Trade Policy, International Trade Law

The Global Priorities Institute at Oxford University, inspired by the effective altruism movement, has created a research agenda to prioritize the research that has the potential to do the most good over the long term ( Similarly, our project seeks to identify Legal Research Priorities in concrete fields of law and regarding concrete issues in each field, based on objective criteria. This discussion paper analyzes the field of climate law as a priority area and identifies specific research areas within climate law. The existential risks confronting humanity are of particular concern to the effective altruism movement (Toby Ord, The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity, 2020).


There is considerable research on the science of climate change. Climate change is also an important focus in the field of (international) environmental law. However, the challenge that the climate crisis represents for law is multifaceted and requires interdisciplinary research in a wide variety of legal disciplines. Climate law needs to expand beyond the realm of environmental lawyers.