This is the third session of Kiko Network's “Global Climate Litigation Around the World” webinar series. This time, we will feature a case study of climate litigation in South Korea.
More and more “climate (change) lawsuits" are being filed in countries around the world to address climate change issues through the force of law. Rulings have been seen in many places acknowledging that climate change is an urgent issue that threatens human rights, and that not only governments but also companies should work on emission reduction. Climate change is a universal problem, so Kiko Network will continue to appeal to the Japanese courts to take this climate issue further.
In 2020, a case called “Do-Hyun Kim et al. v. South Korea” which was filed by 19 South Korean youths to bring a complaint to the Constitutional Court of South Korea alleging that South Korea's countermeasures against global warming were inadequate had drawn an opinion from the Korean Human Rights Commission supporting the plaintiffs' claims. In June 2023, the Human Rights Commission submitted an opinion to the Constitutional Court opposing South Korea's Carbon Neutrality Bill (2021). In this webinar, we invite a lawyer to introduce the appeals and initiatives of the Korean youth case.
In 2022, one Korean national and three Australian indigenous people sued the Korea Trade Insurance Corporation and the Export-Import Bank of Korea to stop a gas mining project (the Barossa Gas Project) in a beautiful traditionally-owned area of the Tiwi Islands in northern Australia, in response to South Korea's attempt to finance the project. This project has been effectively halted. We invite a Korean lawyer to report of contents of this case: how the lawsuit was conducted, how the residents won the case, and how young people are involved in the lawsuit.
There are things we can learn from the globally notable climate change litigation in South Korea. In addition, we hope this session can be an opportunity to review Japan’s involvement and investments in the Barossa gas project.
Program (as it planned, with simultaneous interpretation)
1. Introduction: South Korea’s challenge in the global climate litigations
Mie Asaoka (Attorney, President of Kiko Network)
2. Youth challenge to climate litigation in Korea (Presentation)
Sejong Youn (Plan1.5, Attorney)
3. The case against Barossa Gas Project in Australia (Presentation)
Jihyeon Ha (Solutions for Our Climate (SFOC), Attorney)
4. Japan’s involvement in the Barossa Gas Project (Presentation)
Yasuko Suzuki (Kiko Network)
Coordinator : Mie Asaoka
Sejong Youn is the co-founder and program director of Plan 1.5, a non-profit organization that advocates for better and stronger climate policies in key sectors like energy, industry, finance, and transportation. He practiced law in the field of environmental regulation and international dispute since 2012. In 2019, he joined the climate movement. He is a lawyer by profession and is also representing the 19 activists of the Youth4Climate Action group in the constitutional case against the government and national assembly before the Korean Constitutional Court. Sejong spent his early career practicing law in the fields of environmental regulation and international dispute resolution. https://www.plan15.org/aboutus
She is a Korean qualified lawyer and has been working on a variety of climate litigation matters including Australian Barossa injunction at Solutions For Our Climate ("SFOC"), based in Seoul since 2021. Before joining SFOC, she worked as an in-house attorney at S-OIL, an oil refinery in South Korea and an affiliate of Saudi Aramco, where she opened eyes to environmental and energy issues related to the oil industry. She is in charge of reviewing lawsuits and providing legal advice.
She graduated from Seoul National University Law School (J.D.) and received the Bachelor of Law degree (LL.B.) from Seoul National University. https://forourclimate.org/sub/team/jihyeon-ha