Attribution science in the courts: establishing the liability of greenhouse gas emitters for climate change damages


Twitter: @RupertS_Smith

Academic Profile

Rupert Stuart-Smith is a PhD candidate at the University of Oxford where his research focuses on climate change litigation and attribution science. Rupert is also a founding member of the Oxford Sustainable Law Programme's Management Team. His present research interests cover the use and interpretation of climate science evidence in litigation and methodological developments in climate change attribution science. His current work also spans climate and glacier modelling and strategy development for climate litigation.

Rupert's recent work has provided evidence on the impact of climate change on glacial retreat in Peru in the context of an ongoing legal case (Lliuya v RWE). His past research also includes evaluation of corporate emission reduction commitments in the energy sector, in collaboration with the Grantham Research Institute at the London School of Economics.

Rupert has worked as a consultant for the Foundation for International Law for the Environment (FILE), supporting the development of FILE's legal strategy on climate change, and for WWF-UK, Climate Analytics and Vivid Economics. Rupert holds a BA(Hons) in Geography from the University of Oxford. In 2020, he received the Alfred Steers Prize from the Royal Geographical Society, awarded to the author of best Undergraduate dissertation in a UK geography department.


  • Natural Environment Research Council (2019-2023)
  • Climate Analytics (2019-2023)
  • FILE Foundation (2020)
  • Oxford Martin Programme on the Post-Carbon Transition (2019)

Current Teaching


Journal Articles


  • Stuart-Smith, R.F. (2020) Climate change in the Arctic: impacts and attribution. Scoping study for WWF-UK.
  • Dietz, S., Jahn, V., Noels, J., Stuart-Smith, R.F. and Hepburn, C.J. (2019) A survey of the net zero positions of the world's largest energy companies. Available from Transition Pathway Initiative.

Conference Papers

  • Stuart-Smith, R.F., Roe, G.H., Li, S. and Allen, M.R. (2019) Human influence on the retreat of Palcaraju glacier (Cordillera Blanca, Peru). American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting.