Segments in this Video

Using the Law to Save Us: Roger Cox: Introduction (01:29)


Silver Donald Cameron introduces Roger Cox's position on climate change. Cox took the Netherlands' government to court.

Climate Summit in Copenhagen Failed (03:42)

Cox wondered if there was a way to use the law to pressure governments into climate action. Large transitions cannot occur in the energy sector without governments taking a leading role.

Economies and Oil Crisis (04:22)

Cox states that most people believe the economy is a result of the markets; governments build large societal infrastructures. He explains how an oil decline could potentially breakdown Western society.

Human Rights Violations (02:56)

A heavy decline in oil exploration will result in expensive exports, higher consumer costs, and shrinking mobility which could result in basic need shortages and adverse health effects.

Potential Refugees (03:45)

Cox discusses a connection between climate change and the Syrian refugee crisis. He expects to see more similar situations in the decades ahead.

Addiction to Oil (03:11)

The Western world is increasingly dependent on Middle Eastern and North African states for oil, sending money to areas of extremism. The transition to renewable energy would reduce dependence on those regions.

Subsidized Energy Source (04:01)

Cox explains why the oil market is not a free market. He discusses the delay in emissions and the warming effect decades later.

Failure of Democracy (06:19)

Cox states that focus is short-term and based on individual action; governments helped the fossil fuel industry become the world's largest industry. Cox outlines the "triangle" of the fossil fuel industry, big banks, and government.

Long-term Judiciary Approach (07:12)

Climate change is a political issue; we are currently in a stalemate situation. Cox discusses why he did not address climate change within environmental and international law, and new regulations.

Long-term Judiciary Approach: Duty of Care (04:39)

This legal notion is the best "open-norm" that leaves maneuvering room for the judiciary to address climate change. Cox began instituting legal cases against nation states for violating duty of care. Climate change will detrimentally affect all regions.

Climate Science in Court (03:44)

Participating nations agreed on relevant facts, providing legal relevance; a two degree warming will have adverse effects for all world regions. Cox states a good reason to go to court is to eliminate the media discussion around climate change.

Duty of Care Violation (01:44)

Cox asks the courts to look at accepted science and make a declaration that a nation state is not fulfilling its obligation; he cites the Dutch state.

Duty of Care Violation Rulings (02:07)

Cox asked the courts to require a 25-40% emissions reduction by 2020. He cites examples of nation states making successful reductions while remaining prosperous.

Nation State Defense? (03:42)

Cox explains the arguments the Netherlands presented during a duty of care violation court case. His legal team convinced the court that violations met the legal requirements. Every country has a responsibility to do its part to keep the world below the two degree threshold.

Separation of Powers? (03:12)

The Dutch court has a constitutional duty to answer questions raised before it. It has to weigh decision consequences against the risk of harm as a result of a two degree warming.

Dutch Climate Case (03:42)

After the ruling, many political parties did not want to appeal the case. The Dutch government appealed the ruling on principle legal grounds, but will comply with the verdict.

Crowdpleading (03:18)

Cox posted the summons for the Dutch climate case online; those who thought they had relevant input commented on the summons. Courts cannot intervene in a debate without a case being brought to court.

Court Rulings and Accountability (06:04)

Cox believes that the danger of climate change makes it urgent for cases to go to court. Courts could take actions against companies for knowingly endangering health and well-being. Cox cites open letters to society from fossil fuel companies and possible future liabilities.

Immoral Business Practices? (01:47)

Cox and Cameron reflect on the morality of fossil fuel companies choosing to continue "business as usual" despite acknowledging dangers.

Climate Change and the Media (03:41)

Cox states court cases should stop media discussions of whether or not climate change is real or man-made. The media should hold discussions on how to become a carbon neutral society. Cox reflects on how he felt about the Dutch climate case verdict.

Green Rights (00:43)

Cameron reflects on the success of the Dutch climate case and references other Green Interviews.

Credits: Using the Law to Save Us: Roger Cox (01:14)

Credits: Using the Law to Save Us: Roger Cox

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

Using the Law to Save Us: Roger Cox

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



This episode of The Green Interview features Roger Cox, a Dutch lawyer and author, who led the Dutch Climate Case, the groundbreaking suit brought against the Netherlands on behalf of the Urgenda Foundation and 900 Dutch Citizens. In 2015, the case concluded with an unprecedented verdict in which the district court in The Hague ordered the Dutch government to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions more dramatically than it had intended, arguing it had a duty of care to its citizens. Cox is also the author of the 2011 book, Revolution Justified: Why Only the Law Can Save Us Now, which calls for judicial intervention to save the planet and humanity from dangerous climate change. “Our best hope of averting dangerous climate change and breaking the status quo in the energy world is the law,” he says.

Length: 76 minutes

Item#: BVL114723

ISBN: 978-1-68272-861-1

Copyright date: ©2016

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video customers.