News and Events

Law Soc & Enviro Soc event: How to use the Law to support climate action

26 Apr 2021
Top row l-r, Áine Ryall, Bailey Lane, Lucy Maxwell Bottom row l-r: Alicia O’Sullivan, Clodagh Daly, Rebecca O’Shaughnessy

On 30 March 2021, UCC Law Society and UCC Environmental Society joined forces to host an online event focusing on the theme: How to use the Law to support climate action


The event featured two guest contributors: Clodagh Daly, Climate Case Ireland and Lucy Maxwell, Senior Legal Associate, Climate Litigation Network.  Professor Áine Ryall chaired the proceedings.

The event, which was student-led, provided practical insights into the important role that Law plays in supporting climate action.  It focused on developments in Ireland and internationally.   Rebecca O’Shaughnessy, Auditor Law Soc; Bailey Lane, Internal Convenor, Law Soc; and Alicia O’Sullivan, Enviro Soc, introduced the event. 

Clodagh Daly spoke about Climate Case Ireland and the wider campaign surrounding that case.  Lucy Maxwell focused on the decision of the Supreme Court of The Netherlands in the Urgenda case and the impact of that judgment in other jurisdictions – including its impact on Climate Case Ireland.  The contributors explained how litigation is one important part of a climate action strategy.  However, they also highlighted the necessity to pursue a wide range of mechanisms to drive ambitious climate mitigation.  Strong, community-led climate advocacy plays a vital role here.

Áine Ryall commended Law Soc and Enviro Soc on their initiative in developing the idea behind this event:

“The Centre for Law and the Environment is proud to partner with our students, Law Soc and Enviro Soc to deliver this important and timely event on climate action.  The Centre is currently leading a research project funded by the Higher Education Authority and the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning on the theme Teaching Environmental Law for Policy Innovation and Impact.  The climate action event was an important element of that project. It showcases our students as leaders in facilitating informed public debate on climate action.” 

The event was particularly timely with the new Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill 2021 published on 23 March 2021 and a public consultation process now underway to develop the new Climate Action Plan 2021.

This event was the final House Meeting for 2020/21 and marked the end of a very successful year for Law Soc.


Centre for Law and the Environment

Room 1.63, T12 T656