“Climate washing” litigation has risen sharply in the last two years as environmental groups and governments grew frustrated with increasing corporate claims about tackling climate change, says a report by London-based Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
The annual report on climate litigation trends released on June 29 defines climate washing as cases that challenge companies, and sometimes governments, over misinformation or misleading green claims.
In 2022, 26 climate washing cases were filed against companies globally. It was slightly lower than 27 in 2021, but higher than the previous two years. Lawyers, working on behalf of activists and others disturbed by the lack of progress in lowering greenhouse gas emissions, have filed 2,341 climate litigation cases worldwide, half of them since 2015. Most of the cases have been filed in the United States.
A significant group of climate-washing cases has been challenging the accuracy of corporate climate commitments, especially if these declarations are not backed up by enough plans and policies. Total climate litigation cases filed till May 31 this year dropped to 190 from 266 the year before. However, the report found that the diversity of cases was growing.