The Climate Change & Animal Agriculture Litigation Initiative (CCAALI) is a project within the Climate, Animal, Food, and Environment Law & Policy Lab (CAFE Lab) of the Law, Ethics & Animals Program (LEAP) at Yale Law School. CCAALI, which launched in 2021, works at the intersection of climate change and the food system, evaluating the likelihood and impact of litigation in U.S. courts relating to animal agriculture's climate impacts. CCAALI is focused on exploring the potential for litigation to help address the climate harms of animal agriculture.
Even if emissions from electricity production and transportation ended immediately, global emissions related to food production alone could preclude limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius or less above pre-industrial levels, a goal of the Paris Climate Agreement. The vast majority of U.S. agriculture emissions are related to the production of livestock animals and their feed. The livestock industry’s emissions are particularly concerning because livestock and their manure are the United States’ top source of methane, a climate super-pollutant.
Yet, agribusinesses have received little legal or political scrutiny for their climate pollution, and the industry’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions remain effectively unregulated in the United States. Given the urgency of the climate crisis and the current lack of political will to address GHG pollution from the livestock industry, climate advocates may turn to litigation as a potential leverage point for holding livestock corporations responsible for their greenhouse gas emissions. CCAALI seeks to understand the nature, likelihood, and potential impacts of such strategies.
The CCAALI team includes Project Manager and Senior Litigation Fellow Daina Bray, LEAP Faculty Co-Director Doug Kysar, LEAP Faculty Co-Director Jonathan Lovvorn, LEAP Executive Director Viveca Morris, Litigation Fellow Graham Provost, Litigation Fellow Caroline Zhang, and LEAP Postgraduate Fellow Laurie Sellars.