According to a new analysis, climate action lawsuits against governments and corporations have spread to 28 countries.
The study reveals that more than 1,300 climate change-related legal actions have been taken since 1990.
While the United States, with 1,023 cases, remains the leader in climate litigation, other countries see more and more people, charities and states taking action.
Joana Setzer, co-author of the report from the Grantham Institute and the London School of Economics, said: "Holding government and business accountable for failing to combat climate change has become a global phenomenon."
“People and environmental groups are forcing governments and businesses to go to court for failing to act on climate change, and not just in the United States. The number of countries where people are taking climate change legal action is likely to continue to rise, ”he added.
In the two and a half years since Donald Trump became president of the US, the lawsuits have attempted to prevent his attempts to undo environmental regulations. An analysis of 154 cases in the report shows that no reversal of a climate regulation in court has survived a legal challenge.
Countries where legal cases have been taken include Australia, where 94 cases were launched, the United Kingdom (53), Brazil (five), Spain (13), New Zealand (17) and Germany (five).
A landmark case in Pakistan four years ago established the right to challenge inaction on climate change on the basis of human rights. Asghar Leghari, a farmer in the southern Punjab region of Pakistan, took the government to court claiming he was violating his human rights by failing to address the impacts of climate change.
It claimed that its leaders were not ensuring the security of water, food and energy in the face of the challenges posed by climate change. The court found in his favor, and one of the results was the establishment of a climate change commission.
The Urgenda Foundation case against the state of the Netherlands successfully defended the adoption of stricter emission reduction targets by the government. The result is the subject of an appeal.
In the UK, Client Earth has repeatedly won legal action against the British government for failing to take action over illegal levels of air pollution.
Most recently, an action was brought before the UN human rights committee in May this year by a group of eight people living on the Torres Strait Islands, in the far north of Australia. Calls on the Australian government to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and take adequate coastal defense measures in consultation with the island community.
The report, released Thursday, says: "Litigation related to climate change continues to expand in all jurisdictions as a tool to strengthen climate action."
“The increase in strategic and routine cases, the increase in legal action by NGOs, the expansion of climate change lawsuits to other areas of the law, and improvements in climate science suggest that the use of litigation on climate change as a policy tool, change is likely to continue.