A person wearing a mask and holding a sign that says "support your local planet"

Managing Director Charlotte Moore and Research Associate Catalina Becerra Trujillo speak to Rebecca Burton about recent trends in NGO-led climate litigation, how it is being used by NGOs as a tactic to address climate change and how companies should look to engage with the heightened risk of NGO-led litigation.

Even when these NGO-led cases are dismissed or courts find in companies’ favour, the claims drive public attention to the issues, defendants, and peers. As such, claims against oil and gas will undoubtedly continue, and NGOs may look to replicate the Shell case against other energy firms in other jurisdictions. 

Activist litigation is also starting to spill over into other sectors, such as food and beverages, personal care and even baby care, with Danone a recent subject of a claim by ClientEarth on plastic pollution.  

Companies should engage with this risk by getting to grips with the issues NGO are campaigning on which concern their business or industry. By engaging with the issues early on, firms stand a chance of going from being part of the problem to part of the solution, and therefore not worth singling out for attack.  

Companies should also be prepared for activists to remain unsatisfied with their responses, but they should try not to let that become an excuse for defensiveness or lack of engagement. NGO exist to critique, but for those companies that engage well, that criticism is tempered by praise for any positive steps.


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What our clients say

What our
clients say

“In our experience, SIGWATCH is one of the few sources of ESG data we can absolutely trust to be reliable.”

Our company is based in Japan. Most employees are Japanese and we don’t really know what is happening around the world. SIGWATCH gives us visibility of the global ESG issues and trends we need to have on our radar.

With SIGWATCH, we’re able to absorb NGO data in an awesome way that
simply wouldn’t be possible otherwise. We can hear the NGOs’ voice, to better
strategize and get ahead of trending issues.

With social listening, we’re limited to knowing what people are saying only about OECD. With SIGWATCH, we see not only what is being said about us, but also what is being said about everyone else.

A lot is said and written about sustainability and ESG every day but no one,
apart from SIGWATCH, provides the big picture, SIGWATCH offers a comprehensive overview of what’s happening in the corporate sustainability
world rather than just a narrow snapshot.

“SIGWATCH is a good source to show that NGOs are watching us and watching our clients, and we definitely need to be aware of the issues they are bringing up.”