Climate change litigation and protection of collective entities (Litigio en cambio climático y protección de entidades colectivas)

In the last decade, judicial actions pursuing climate change mitigation and adaptation measures have exponentially increased. Among other reasons, this phenomenon is explained by the imminent threat of global warming and the civil society distrust in political response. In these circumstances, climate change litigation has become a powerful tool to achieve compliance with human rights and environmental obligations. However, climate change lawsuits face several obstacles. In particular, local judges may decide whether individuals, NGOs and state agencies have standing to sue when the interest of collective entities, such as the future generations and the nature, are at stake. Recent case law shows a major shift in the way that standing to sue is evaluated. This paper analyzes this role and the progressive protection of collective entities without legal personality as a legal response to the challenges posed by climate change.