Scribe UK’s Philip Gwyn Jones has commissioned a book by environmental lawyer James Thornton and writer Martin Goodman.
Jones acquired world rights to Client Earth from Patrick Walsh of Conville & Walsh.
Thornton, who is American but lives in the UK, believes the way to try to avert a climate crisis is to prosecute polluters - governments and corporations alike - through the courts using the laws we already have to hand, and "to hit them hard where it hurts them most: on their balance sheets and in their stock prices".
He is the founder of ClientEarth, a campaigning legal charity. Thornton has 60 lawyers working with him full-time. Most recently he and his team have sued the British government for breach of EU clean air provisions.
Client Earth will be co-written with Martin Goodman, the director of the Philip Larkin Centre for Poetry and Creative Writing at Hull University and the author of books including a biography of JS Haldane, Suffer and Survive (Pocket Books).
Jones, who published Naomi Klein’s No Logo when he was at HarperCollins, will sell international rights to Client Earth at the Frankfurt Book Fair next week.
He said: “Lightning rarely strikes twice, but the planetary peril that makes us all feel so impotent demands that odds be defied, rules be challenged and new saviours hailed when someone comes along with a set of tools to rebuild Earth’s chances that includes pragmatism, accomplishment, enforcement, lawfulness, eloquence, determination, faith and, above all, a hard, firm, true hope. And that someone is James Thornton. He makes it possible to believe that the law could save the Earth.”
Client Earth will be published by Scribe UK in the UK and Australia in 2017.