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Apr. 5, 2021

Earthjustice Around the World

Earthjustice partners with organizations and communities around the world to establish, strengthen, and enforce national and international legal protections for the environment and public health.

One of the largest onshore wind power facilities in Africa, near the town of Tarfaya.
siemens.com/press
An onshore wind power facility near Tarfaya, Morocco. Earthjustice is expanding collaboration across Africa to accelerate the transition to renewable energy.
An onshore wind power facility near Tarfaya, Morocco. Earthjustice is expanding collaboration across Africa to accelerate the transition to renewable energy.

The environment knows no borders. Neither does injustice. Climate change affects communities from the Arctic to the Andes. Rising seas threaten Pacific atolls and coastal cities from Durban to Jakarta to New York. Across the globe, groups that face systemic oppression, such as Indigenous peoples and communities without financial resources, disproportionately suffer the consequences of all forms of environmental harm.

About Our International Work
  • Australia
  • Indonesia
  • Latin America
  • South Africa
  • Clean Energy
  • Oceans

Recognizing this, Earthjustice began working internationally in 1991, when we became one of the first organizations to advocate for international recognition of the right to all people to a healthy and sustainable environment. This principle remains at the heart of our work today, guiding us as we partner with organizations and communities around the world to combat climate change, establish and defend the right to a healthy environment, and protect essential global ocean resources. (Meet our team.)

Because the burdens of the fossil fuel economy and other environmental harms must not continue to fall disproportionately on low-income and Indigenous communities in the Global South, we collaborate with partners in key countries and regions to catalyze the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. We are also tackling the increasing and unsustainable pressures from human activity on ocean wildlife whose protection requires international collaboration.

Australia

Fighting coal mines, coal-fired power plants, and toxic coal-ash dumps. Protecting human rights. Defending Australia’s magnificent places.
Dead coral covered in algae after the bleaching event, captured by the XL Catlin Seaview Survey at Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef in May 2016.
Photo courtesy of XL Catlin Seaview Survey
Dead coral covered in algae after the bleaching event at Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef, May 2016. Without a substantial reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions, the Great Barrier Reef as we know it today will not survive.

Despite the serious human and environmental costs of coal and gas, Australia — already one of the world’s largest exporters of both — wants to dramatically increase these exports.

For several years, we have collaborated with Environmental Justice Australia and Environmental Defenders Office to fight coal mines, coal plants, and toxic coal-ash dumps. Because Indigenous groups bear the burden of much of Australia’s fossil fuel extraction, we have supported some of those groups in defending their human rights.

We also partner with Australian organizations to use international law to pressure Australia to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to protect human rights and Australia’s magnificent places, like the Great Barrier Reef.

Indonesia

Opposing coal expansion. Leveling the economic playing field for clean energy. Defending environmental safeguards.
A tug pulls a coal barge past the Samarinda Islamic Center Mosque in East Kalimantan, Indonesia.
Ed Wray / Getty Images
A tug pulls a coal barge past the Samarinda Islamic Center Mosque in East Kalimantan, Indonesia.

Indonesia is another of the world's largest coal producers and is intent on expanding its fleet of coal-fired power plants.

We are working with Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL) and the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) to level the economic playing field for clean energy and protect human health by forcing power generators to bear the cost of air and coal-ash pollution from coal-fired power plants.

We also support advocacy to defend environmental safeguards currently under attack by the government and to strengthen Indonesian legislation to facilitate renewable energy deployment.

Latin America

Challenging the expansion of fracking and large-scale coal mining. Supporting regulatory structures for clean energy.
A fracking site in Vaca Muerta, Argentina.
Cristian Martin / Getty Images
A fracking site in Vaca Muerta, Argentina.

Latin America’s leading regional environmental law organization, the Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense (AIDA), is one of Earthjustice’s longest-standing partners.

Together with AIDA and other partners, we are challenging the expansion of fracking in Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico, and large-scale coal mining in Colombia.

We are also supporting the establishment and defense of regulatory structures for clean energy in Mexico, Chile, and Brazil, and pushing for the closure of polluting coal plants in Chile.

South Africa

Challenging proposed coal- and gas-fired power plants and coal mines. Defending renewable energy roadmaps.
Secunda Power Station, one of the coal-fired plants that pollutes the air and water in South Africa's Mpumalanga province.
James Oatway / Centre for Environmental Rights
Secunda Power Station in South Africa's Mpumalanga province.

South Africa’s government recently adopted an energy plan that calls for expanding coal-fired power generation and initiating new gas-fired power generation.

We are supporting the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) and other South African organizations in challenging proposed coal- and gas-fired power plants and coal mines and litigating to force the government to apply strong air quality regulations that would protect the health of thousands of people living next to coal plants, mines, and toxic ash dumps.

We are also supporting Durban, Cape Town, and other cities in adopting and defending renewable energy roadmaps and increasing rooftop solar programs.

Clean Energy

Removing barriers and supporting a just transition to clean energy.
Wind turbines in Jeneponto Regency, South Sulawesi, Indonesia.
Bastianas / Getty Images via Cavan Images
Wind turbines in Jeneponto Regency, South Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Accelerating the global transition to clean energy is fundamental to fighting climate change and increasing equitable access to electricity.

We help our partners advocate for legal reform to remove barriers to renewable energy and litigate to promote progressive national electricity regulations.

We provide legal assistance to vanguard cities and countries to promote the clean energy transition through collaboration with the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and progressive national electricity regulators.

And we are working to expand our collaboration across Africa, where fast-growing populations must leapfrog to clean energy if the planet is to have any chance of staying below 2°C warming.

Oceans

Developing international partnerships to protect vulnerable shark species.
A blue shark swims near the ocean's surface.
Bernard Radvaner / Getty Images
A blue shark swims near the ocean's surface.

For years, the Earthjustice Oceans Program has fought for stronger domestic protections for marine predators, which are essential to healthy ocean ecosystems.

But as many of these species are highly migratory, traversing multiple national boundaries and swimming through the high seas, effective advocacy reaches beyond our borders.

Earthjustice’s international oceans work focuses on sharks, which face myriad threats, including overfishing. We are developing international partnerships to protect vulnerable species and to strengthen international provisions in U.S. fisheries management laws to improve shark conservation.