Professor Lisa Benjamin’s Book Reviews Corporate Responses to Climate Change

Assistant Professor Lisa Benjamin recently published Companies and Climate Change (Cambridge Press, 2021), which addresses the interaction between climate action and corporate law, and showcases how areas of law such as climate, energy, transnational human rights, and climate litigation law are demanding more progressive climate action by corporations.

Benjamin illustrates how these areas of law interact with, and sometimes diverge from, corporate law. She argues that corporate law can and should act as a bridge to progressive corporate climate action.

The book examines the rising social and investor concern about the escalating risks of climate change and how those concerns are impacting corporate approaches to climate change. Benjamin assesses the regulations and pressures that impact energy corporations in the United Kingdom, with illustrations from other jurisdictions such as the United States, Canada, South Africa, India, and the Philippines.

“I am hoping this book provides some insights not only into existing barriers but also an update on some very innovative activities being undertaken by a number of companies, how quickly the law and societal expectations in this area have and are still changing, and how corporate law can assist in the global energy transition,” Benjamin explains. “I wanted to contribute to a potential rethinking of the role of corporations, but also corporate law, in the context of climate justice and climate action.”

Benjamin teaches international climate change law, energy resources law and policy, environmental justice, and administrative law. She is also a member of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Compliance Committee (Facilitative Branch), which assesses country reports under the Kyoto Protocol. Prior to her academic career, she was a corporate and commercial lawyer in London and an advisor to the Government of the Bahamas on climate change, including representing the country at the UNFCCC negotiations and as part of the Paris Agreement negotiations.

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