The number of climate change cases in the corridors of justice is on the rise, as reported by judges from the land and environmental courts.
Through the Pan-African Association of Judges on Environment, Land, and Labour (PAAJELLA), these judges attribute the increase to greater public awareness as the full impacts of climate change become more apparent.
This revelation came to light during a workshop organised by Hakijamii and WWF on the impact of climate change on economic, social, and cultural rights, held in Naivasha.
According to Judge Edward Wabwoto from the Environment and Land courts, the complete consequences of climate change have served as a wake-up call for Kenyans.
He said affected individuals, through various environmental groups, are now filing litigation cases related to climate change due to the heightened public awareness.
Speaking to the press on the sidelines of the workshop, Wabwoto said the country has an adequate number of judges to handle the increasing cases nationwide.
"The Chief Justice recently established the Environment and Lands divisions to address the growing number of climate change litigation cases within our courts," he said.
He added that Kenya is a signatory to various climate change agreements aimed at mitigating the comprehensive impacts of climate change and ensuring climate justice.
In her remarks, PAAJELLA President Justice Jacqueline Mogeni commended the initiative, noting that some of the emerging cases could potentially be resolved at the community level.
Mogeni said during the two-day workshop they reached an agreement to address the impact of climate change on marginalised communities.
"The partnership involves the development of joint initiatives and advocacy efforts to protect and promote the economic, social, and cultural rights of those who are most affected by climate change," she said.
The judge also said they would focus on enhancing the capacity of judges to address environmental justice.