The Climate Change Litigation Based Human Rights Approach in Corporations: Prospects and Challenges

Yordan Gunawan(1*), Mohammad Hazyar Arumbinang(2),

(1) Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta, Yogyakarta,
(2) Melbourne Law School, the University of Melbourne,
(*) Corresponding Author


In recent years, the phenomenon of climate change has emerged as a critical global issue that poses a significant threat to human survival. Industries such as fossil fuels, manufacturing, and agriculture have been identified as major sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Corporate activities have played a role in triggering legal actions holding them accountable for their contribution to climate change. Therefore, this research analyses the prospects and challenges of climate change litigation against corporations in Indonesia using human rights approach. This research has adopted normative legal research with a statutory and historical approach. Descriptive analysis is applied to analyze the data. This paper reveals that the use of human rights approach can strengthen arguments against corporations over climate change. This paper concludes that despite the challenge that may arise, there is a big chance for successful climate change litigation against corporations in Indonesia by using human rights approach as the main claim.

Full Text:



Ai, Li, and Lucia S. Gao, ‘Firm-Level Risk of Climate Change: Evidence from Climate Disasters’, Global Finance Journal, 55 (2023), 100805–100805

Albitar, Khaldoon, Habiba Al-Shaer, and Yang Stephanie Liu, ‘Corporate Commitment to Climate Change: The Effect of Eco-Innovation and Climate Governance’, Research Policy, 52.2 (2023), 104697–104697

Andrew, Robbie M., ‘Towards near Real-Time, Monthly Fossil CO2 Emissions Estimates for the European Union with Current-Year Projections’, Atmospheric Pollution Research, 12.12 (2021), 101229–101229

Arora-Jonsson, Seema, and Jeannette Gurung, ‘Changing Business as Usual in Global Climate and Development Action: Making Space for Social Justice in Carbon Markets’, World Development Perspectives, 29 (2023), 100474–100474

Azimli, Asil, ‘The Impact of Climate Policy Uncertainty on Firm Value: Does Corporate Social Responsibility Engagement Matter?’, Finance Research Letters, 51 (2023)

van Asselt, Harro, ‘Governing Fossil Fuel Production in the Age of Climate Disruption: Towards an International Law of “Leaving It in the Ground”’, Earth System Governance, 9 (2021), 100118–100118

Barandiaran, Javiera, and Sebastián Rubiano-Galvis, ‘An Empirical Study of EIA Litigation Involving Energy Facilities in Chile and Colombia’, Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 79 (2019), 106311–106311

Bonneuil, Christophe, Pierre-Louis Choquet, and Benjamin Franta, ‘Early Warnings and Emerging Accountability: Total’s Responses to Global Warming, 1971–2021’, Global Environmental Change, 71 (2021), 102386–102386

Bos, Kyra, and Joyeeta Gupta, ‘Stranded Assets and Stranded Resources: Implications for Climate Change Mitigation and Global Sustainable Development’, Energy Research & Social Science, 56 (2019), 101215–101215

Chen, Hsiao-Min, Tsai-Chi Kuo, and Ju-Long Chen, ‘Impacts on the ESG and Financial Performances of Companies in the Manufacturing Industry Based on the Climate Change Related Risks’, Journal of Cleaner Production, 380 (2022), 134951–134951

Chourou, Lamia, Darlene Himick, and Samir Saadi, ‘Regulatory Uncertainty and Corporate Social Responsibility’, Finance Research Letters, 55 (2023), 104020

Friasmita, Anisa Devi, and Farah Hafizha Nisa, ‘Securing State’s Asset: Legal Protection of Natural Resources of Oil and Gas’, Journal of Sustainable Development and Regulatory Issues (JSDERI), 1.1 (2023), 18–24

van Dijk, Nicky, ‘From Exacerbating the Anthropocene’s Problems to Intergenerational Justice: An Analysis of the Communication Procedure of the Human Rights Treaty System’, Earth System Governance, 10 (2021), 100123–100123

Etty, Thijs, Veerle Heyvaert, Cinnamon Carlarne, Bruce Huber, Jacqueline Peel, and Josephine van Zeben, ‘Ten Years On: Rethinking Transnational Environmental Law’, Transnational Environmental Law, 10.3 (2021), 391–400

Griffin, Paul A., David Lont H., and Carol Pomare, ‘The Curious Case of Canadian Corporate Emissions Valuation’, The British Accounting Review, 53.1 (2021), 100922–100922

de Grosbois, Danuta, and David A. Fennell, ‘Determinants of Climate Change Disclosure Practices of Global Hotel Companies: Application of Institutional and Stakeholder Theories’, Tourism Management, 88 (2022), 104404–104404

Guastella, Gianni, Matteo Mazzarano, Stefano Pareglio, and Anastasios Xepapadeas, ‘Climate Reputation Risk and Abnormal Returns in the Stock Markets: A Focus on Large Emitters’, International Review of Financial Analysis, 84 (2022), 102365–102365

Guerin, Turlough F., ‘Roles of Company Directors and the Implications for Governing for the Emerging Impacts of Climate Risks in the Fresh Food Sector: A Review’, Food Control, 133 (2022), 108600–108600

Heikkinen, Milja, Onerva Korhonen, Tuomas Ylä-Anttila, and Sirkku Juhola, ‘Climate Partners of Helsinki: Participation-Based Structures and Performance in a City-to-Business Network Addressing Climate Change in 2011–2018’, Urban Climate, 45 (2022), 101250–101250

Heredia, Jorge, John R. McIntyre, Cathy Rubiños, Ernesto Santibañez, and Alejandro Flores, ‘A Configuration Approach to Explain Corporate Environmental Responsibility Behavior of the Emerging Economies Firms at Industry 4.0’, Journal of Cleaner Production, 395 (2023)

Huang, Qiping, and Meimei Lin, ‘Do Climate Risk Beliefs Shape Corporate Social Responsibility?’, Global Finance Journal, 53 (2022)

Iqbal, Iqbal, and Hilmi Rayhannafi, ‘Legal Politics toward Natural Energy: Natural Gas Utilization in Indonesia’, Journal of Sustainable Development and Regulatory Issues (JSDERI), 1.1 (2023), 25–30

Jaelani, Abdul Kadir, Resti Dian Luthviati, and Muhammad Jihadul Hayat, ‘Permits for the Transfer of Agricultural Land Functions to Non-Agriculture in the Land Purchasing and Sale Process’, in International Conference on Environmental and Energy Policy (ICEEP 2021) (Atlantis Press, 2021), pp. 216–19

Jodoin, Sébastien, Annalisa Savaresi, and Margaretha Wewerinke-Singh, ‘Rights-Based Approaches to Climate Decision-Making’, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 52 (2021), 45–53

Karjoko, Lego, I. Gusti Ayu Ketut Rachmi Handayani, Abdul Kadir Jaelani, and Muhammad Jihadul Hayat, ‘Indonesia’s Sustainable Development Goals Resolving Waste Problem: Informal to Formal Policy’, International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning, 17.2 (2022), 649–58

Krauss, Adam D., ‘Effect of Climate Change on the Insurance Sector’, in The Impacts of Climate Change (Elsevier, 2021), pp. 397–436

Kuh, K.F., ‘The Law of Climate Change Mitigation: An Overview’, in Encyclopedia of the Anthropocene (Elsevier, 2018), pp. 505–10

Le Ravalec, Mickaele, Alexandre Rambaud, and Véronique Blum, ‘Taking Climate Change Seriously: Time to Credibly Communicate on Corporate Climate Performance’, Ecological Economics, 200 (2022), 107542–107542

Lioubimtseva, Elena, and Charlotte da Cunha, ‘Local Climate Change Adaptation Plans in the US and France: Comparison and Lessons Learned in 2007-2017’, Urban Climate, 31 (2020), 100577–100577

Loucks, Daniel P., ‘Impacts of Climate Change on Economies, Ecosystems, Energy, Environments, and Human Equity: A Systems Perspective’, in The Impacts of Climate Change (Elsevier, 2021), pp. 19–50

Maharani, Mutiara, and Nabbiel Arbio Akbar, ‘Utilization of Petroleum and Natural Gas on the Sustainable Development of Indonesian Economy’, Journal of Sustainable Development and Regulatory Issues (JSDERI), 1.1 (2023), 1–8

Mayembe, Rose, Nicholas Philip Simpson, Olivia Rumble, and Marieke Norton, ‘Integrating Climate Change in Environmental Impact Assessment: A Review of Requirements across 19 EIA Regimes’, Science of The Total Environment, 869 (2023), 161850–161850

McEldowney, John F., ‘Climate Change and the Law’, in The Impacts of Climate Change (Elsevier, 2021), pp. 503–19

Megura, Matthew, and Ryan Gunderson, ‘Better Poison Is the Cure? Critically Examining Fossil Fuel Companies, Climate Change Framing, and Corporate Sustainability Reports’, Energy Research & Social Science, 85 (2022), 102388–102388

Morais, H., F. Arenas, C. Cruzeiro, S. Galante-Oliveira, and P.G. Cardoso, ‘Combined Effects of Climate Change and Environmentally Relevant Mixtures of Endocrine Disrupting Compounds on the Fitness and Gonads’ Maturation Dynamics of Nucella Lapillus (Gastropoda)’, Marine Pollution Bulletin, 190 (2023), 114841–114841

O’Donnell, Tayanah, ‘Coastal Lawscape: A Framework for Understanding the Complexities of Climate Change Adaptation’, Marine Policy, 129 (2021), 104532–104532

Park, Jin Dong, Kimitaka Nishitani, Katsuhiko Kokubu, Martin Freedman, and Yiting Weng, ‘Revisiting Sustainability Disclosure Theories: Evidence from Corporate Climate Change Disclosure in the United States and Japan’, Journal of Cleaner Production, 382 (2023)

Pearce, Fred, ‘Polluter Pays?’, New Scientist, 239.3191 (2018), 38–41

Peel, Jacqueline, and Rebekkah Markey-Towler, ‘Recipe for Success?: Lessons for Strategic Climate Litigation from the Sharma, Neubauer, and Shell Cases’, German Law Journal, 22.8 (2021), 1484–98

Peel, Jacqueline, and Hari M. Osofsky, ‘Climate Change Litigation’, Annual Review of Law and Social Science, 16.1 (2020), 21–38

Pill, Melanie, ‘Towards a Funding Mechanism for Loss and Damage from Climate Change Impacts’, Climate Risk Management, 35 (2022), 100391–100391

Reichle, David E., ‘Carbon, Climate Change, and Public Policy’, in The Global Carbon Cycle and Climate Change (Elsevier, 2023), pp. 503–70

Reu Junqueira, Juliana, Silvia Serrao-Neumann, and Iain White, ‘Managing Urban Climate Change Risks: Prospects for Using Green Infrastructure to Increase Urban Resilience to Floods’, in The Impacts of Climate Change (Elsevier, 2021), pp. 379–96

Sarwar, Huma, Junaid Aftab, Muhammad Ishtiaq Ishaq, and Muhammad Atif, ‘Achieving Business Competitiveness through Corporate Social Responsibility and Dyanmic Capabilities: An Empirical Evidence from Emerging Economy’, Journal of Cleaner Production, 386 (2023)

Sovacool, Benjamin K., and Alexander Dunlap, ‘Anarchy, War, or Revolt? Radical Perspectives for Climate Protection, Insurgency and Civil Disobedience in a Low-Carbon Era’, Energy Research & Social Science, 86 (2022), 102416–102416

Supran, Geoffrey, and Naomi Oreskes, ‘Rhetoric and Frame Analysis of ExxonMobil’s Climate Change Communications’, One Earth, 4.5 (2021), 696–719

Teasdale, Natalie, and Peter K Panegyres, ‘Climate Change in Western Australia and Its Impact on Human Health’, The Journal of Climate Change and Health, 12 (2023), 100243

Toft, Kristian Høyer, and Mogens Rüdiger, ‘Mapping Corporate Climate Change Ethics: Responses among Three Danish Energy Firms’, Energy Research & Social Science, 59 (2020), 101286–101286

du Toit, Louise, and Louis J. Kotzé, ‘Reimagining International Environmental Law for the Anthropocene: An Earth System Law Perspective’, Earth System Governance, 11 (2022), 100132–100132

Wang, Sidan, and Süleyman Orhun Altiparmak, ‘Framing Climate Strategy of the Oil Industry of China: A Tailored Approach to Ecological Modernization’, Chinese Journal of Population, Resources and Environment, 20.4 (2022), 324–31

Wang, Xinxin, and Kevin Lo, ‘Civil Society, Environmental Litigation, and Confucian Energy Justice: A Case Study of an Environmental NGO in China’, Energy Research & Social Science, 93 (2022), 102831–102831

Watts, Theresa, and Sandra O. Brugger, ‘The Intersection between Climate Change, COVID-19, and Future Pandemics – Perspectives among American Transportation Network Drivers’, Journal of Transport & Health, 2023, 101582

Xu, Weidong, Xin Gao, Hao Xu, and Donghui Li, ‘Does Global Climate Risk Encourage Companies to Take More Risks?’, Research in International Business and Finance, 61 (2022), 101658–101658


Article Metrics

Abstract view : 318 times
PDF - 134 times


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2023 Yordan Gunawan, Mohammad Hazyar Arumbinang

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Journal of Human Rights, Culture and Legal System

Print ISSN: 2807-2979
Online ISSN: 2807-2812
Email: cc to
Published by: Lembaga Contrarius Indonesia
Office: Contrarius Indonesia Institute
Sibela Utara Street No.3, Mojosongo, Kec. Jebres, Kota Surakarta.