Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • Feature
  • Published:

Bringing health out of the clinic and into the courts

Scientists and health professionals acknowledge that climate change is also a health emergency, but responses have been slow. Now, citizens and experts are turning to the courts as a path towards accountability, action and adaptation.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout


  1. Future Generations v. Ministry of the Environment and Others: “Demanda Generaciones Futuras v. Minambiente” (2018);

  2. Toolan, N., Marcus, H., Hanna, E. G. & Wannous, C. PLoS ONE 17, e0268633 (2022).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Leal Filho, W., May, J., May, M. & Nagy, G. J. Malar. J. 22, 248 (2023).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Romanello, M. et al. Lancet 402, 2346–2394 (2023).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 2022 NYC Heat-Related Mortality Report (NYC Health Department, 2023).

  6. Redvers, N., Aubrey, P., Celidwen, Y. & Hill, K. PLoS Glob. Public Health 3, e0002474 (2023).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief (2020);

  8. Finding of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Order Cause No. CDV-2020-307 (2023);

  9. Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief 1CCV-22-0000631 (2022);

  10. Lawrence, M. et al. Glob. Sustain. 7, e6 (2024).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Funes, Y. The Colombian Amazon is now a ‘person’, and you can thank actual people. Gizmodo (9 April 2018);

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Yessenia Funes.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Funes, Y. Bringing health out of the clinic and into the courts. Nat. Clim. Chang. 14, 424–426 (2024).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing Anthropocene

Sign up for the Nature Briefing: Anthropocene newsletter — what matters in anthropocene research, free to your inbox weekly.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing: Anthropocene