Esmeralda Colombo

Lawyer | Consultant | Academic

The time to unite is now. Women are among those who bear the burden of energy injustice and have fewer changes to enter the energy space as professionals. Both challenges can be tackled by combining our efforts for something grand. I believe green hydrogen is all of this.

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoc, RFF-CMCC European Institute on Economics and the Environment (EIEE)

Esmeralda is an EU- and New York State-qualified lawyer, as well as international consultant (e.g., DG CLIMA) and IPCC-quoted author (AR6 Working Group III, 2022).

She believes that finance can catalyze ambitious climate action, responding to the need for ecological integrity, as well as climate and energy fairness that peoples and businesses all over the world are demanding.

Experienced Climate & Energy Professional, PhD and Fulbrighter, she is currently Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow at the CMCC, the IPCC-focus point for Italy. Her project, RE-DESIGN, will put forward a regulatory blueprint to enable individuals and renewable energy communities to access finance for storing RE and increase RE storage bankability, including storage through green hydrogen.

More generally, Esmeralda has been a female entrepreneur with a demonstrated history of leadership in green startups (two startups founded in Milan) and social impact through multi-stakeholder organizations. She is fluent in Italian, English, Spanish, French, and Norwegian.

University of Oslo, Oslo International Environmental Law Conference (IUCN-WCEL) (October 2022)

- Riders on the Storm: Decarbonising Fiduciary Duties in Climate Matters

University of Utrecht, Corporate Responsibility and Liability in relation to Climate Change (May 2022)

- From Climate Risk to Climate Opportunity: A Functional Framework for Pension Fund Investment Governance

Asia-Pacific Ocean Law Institutions Alliance, UNCLOS in Asia-Pacific: 40 Years and Onwards (May 2022)

- Energy Storage Governance in the Asia-Pacific: Exploring Regulatory Bottlenecks and Enablers through the LOS Convention

Catholic University of Milan, Climate Change as the Ultimate Grotian Moment(?) (April 2022)

- The Substantive Aspects of Climate Change Litigation before Domestic Courts

International Society of Public Law, ICONs Mundo Conference (July 2021)

- Social Contract Theory in the Age of Climate Crisis

British Institute of International and Comparative Law, Summit "Our Future in the Balance: The Role of Courts and Tribunals in Meeting the Climate Crisis" (July 2021)

- Re-imagining the Separation of Powers Principle

Monmouth University, The 2021 Institute for Global Understanding Biennial Symposium “Human Rights and the Environment” – Energy Roundtable (March 2021)

- People v Arctic Oil and its Discontents: The Norwegian Paradox in Global Climate and Energy Justice

Columbia University, The Global Research Alliance for Sustainable Finance and Investment (September 2020)

- Online presentation of double peer-reviewed selected paper “From Bushfires to Misfires: New Developments in Climate Litigation over Financial Risk” (see above under publications);

CMI, Centre on Law & Social Transformation (June 2020)

- Summer School on the global climate governance regime: conversation with Prof. Siri Gloppen, Catalina Vallejo Piedrahíta, and students on climate change litigation

Literature House, Bergen, Organizer, Presenter and Moderator in International Conference on Divestment and Climate Change (January 2020)

- Investing in our future, divesting from our past. From climate risk to climate opportunity (

Faculty of Law, University of Bergen (January 2020)

- Paneldebatt/seminar om klimasøksmålet mot staten (Panel on climate change litigation against the state)

Faculty of Law Library, University of Bergen (January 2020)

- Why are Climate Lawsuits Controversial? Norway, the European Union, and the Democratic Challenge

Centre on Law & Social Transformation and Bergen Global CMI/UiB (January 2020)

- Constitutional Interpretation: The Multiplicity of Actors (with Prof. Siri Gloppen and Athanasios Psygkas)

SAMPOL Konferanse (Temper Brenner! Klima og samfunnsvitenskap) (October 2019)

- Juridisk Knockout (with Prof. Siri Gloppen, Prof. Christina Voigt, and Pål Lorentzen)

Temadagen for klima og energiomstilling, with Prof. Berte-Elen Konow, UiB (November 2018)

- Klimasøksmål og bærekraftig finansiering

Concerned Students Day (October 2018)

- ‘I am a Rocket Ship on my Way to Mars’. Culture and Deviance in Corporate Climate Change Matters

Christian Michelsens Institutt (CMI) (August 2018)

- Children’s Climate Litigation: Future Generations’ Rights to a Healthy Environment

IUCN Annual Colloquium, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow (July 2018)

- Litigation as a Tool for Advancing Climate-Smart Agriculture? A Hypothetical Judicial Case in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (paper co-authored with Anastasia Giadrossi)

Masterclass with Cass R. Sunstein, Holberg Week, Bergen (June 2018)

- What to Do About Human Error

Christieskonferansen, Bergen (April 2018)

- Toleransen for klimasøksmål i velferdstaten

Energy Lab, Geophysical Institute, Bergen (April 2018)

- Riders on the Storm. Investors' Fiduciary Duty and Liability in Climate Change Matters

Litteraturhuset Bergen, with Prof. Jørn Øyrehagen Sunde (April 2018)

- Tampen brenner! Risiko for søksmål

Concerned Students Day - Climate Perspectives Vol 2, Bergen (January 2018)

- Smoke on the Water and Fire in the Sky. Litigating the Climate in Norway and Abroad

Deichmanske Bibliotek, Oslo, with Prof. Jørn Øyrehagen Sunde (January 2018)

- Moving Forward or Stepping Back: International and Norwegian Climate Litigation in the 21st Century

University of Bergen – Visit from the Environmental Branch of Norway’s Foreign Ministry (December 2017)

- Access to National Courts and Effective Remedies in Climate Change Cases. Tilgang til domstol og effektive rettsmidler i klimasøksmål

University of Oslo – First Postgraduate Colloquium on Frontiers of International Environmental Law (September 2017)

- Climate Change at the ICJ: Visions in the Aftermath of the US Withdrawal from the Paris Agreement

Strathclyde Center for Environmental Law and Governance - 5th Strathclyde Postgraduate Colloquium on Environmental Law and Governance (May 2017)

- Access to Justice Reloaded. The Judicial Enforcement of International Law in Industrial Pollution Cases

University of Bergen – Energy Lab (May 2017)

- Legal Control & Enforcement over National Energy Plans

University of Bergen – ELSA Conference, International Focus Programme (IFP) (April 2017)

- International Law in Practice: Pipelines, Indigenous Communities, and New Developments

National Law University Delhi – Delhi (March 2017)

- PhD Project Presentation on Access to Justice

University of Bergen (January 2017), Joint Meeting of the Research Groups on Environmental Law, Legal History and Legal Culture

- Enforcing International Environmental Law in National Courts

EELF Annual Conference – Wrocław, Poland (September 2016)

- International Climate Change Law in Domestic Courts: A New Trend of Cases for Boosting Principle X?

Columbia University – New York (2015-2016)

- Access to Justice and the Enforcement of International Law (November 2015); Climate Change Litigation (December 2015); Strategies to Save Venice from Submergence (February 2016); Climate Change Law in National Courts (April 2016).

Fudan University – Shanghai (2015)

- The Rule of Law and Constitutional Democracy in China (June 2015);

- Wading the Waters of Culture and Values (June 2015).

MyFoody Startup (2014 - 2015):

- H-Farm (Treviso), Techfugees (November 2015);

- Expo 2015 (Milan), Italian pavillon – Food Waste (July 2015);

- Campi Bisenzio (Florence), Social Innovation Conference (April 2014);

- Florence, ImpactHub, Social Impact and Job Creation (May 2014);

- Bologna, SMAU – Tech and Law Conference, Privacy and Corporate Liability (June 2014);

- Reggio Emilia, RepNext - La Repubblica delle Idee, Food Waste Reduction (November 2014).

College of Europe (2013):

- Presentation on the REACH Regulation (chemicals);

- Presentation on major accidents at industrial installations (Seveso directives);

- Presentation on the EU competence to sign environmental agreements.

North Park University (2009):

- Business Ethics and workers’ rights (Prof. Ahn).

Catholic University of Milan (2007):

- The principle of estoppel in EU law (Prof. Ballarino).

Organizer of three conferences at Leo Club on the 60th Anniversary of the Italian Constitution (2008) relating to:

The Italian Constitution and European Integration (Prof. Meyr);

The Judiciary Viewpoint on the Constitution (Prosecutor Fojadelli);

Family Violence and Judicial Protection (Judge Ortolan).

Delegate of Italy at the International Development Youth Forum

University of Tokyo

Win-Win Solution for Solving Hunger

1 - 8th March 2015, Tokyo

Delegate of Latvia at Model ASEM

European External Action Service – Asia Europe Meeting

10th ASEM Summit of Heads of State and Government

Responsible Partnership for Sustainable Growth and Security

8 – 12th October 2014, Milan

Articles in Scientific Journals

- Esmeralda Colombo, “Unpacking Corporate Due Diligence in Transnational Climate Litigation” (2022) International Journal of Corporate Law and Sustainability (Special Issue on Corporate Law and Climate Change, forthcoming);

- Sören Koch, Esmeralda Colombo, Catalina Vallejo Piedrahíta, "Derechos de la naturaleza en la cultura jurídica noruega: Ser o no ser?" (2022) Naturaleza y Sociedad. Desafíos Medioambientales, forthcoming;

- Esmeralda Colombo, "EU Principles in Climate Litigation" (2022) China-EU Law Journal, forthcoming;

- Esmeralda Colombo, “Energy Storage Governance in the Asia-Pacific: Exploring Regulatory Bottlenecks and Enablers through the LOS Convention” (2022) Asia-Pacific Journal of Ocean Law and Policy, forthcoming;

- Esmeralda Colombo, “The Politics of Silence: Future Generations’ Fight for Climate in Hannah Arendt's Thought” (2022) The Vienna Journal on International Constitutional Law (Special Issue on Social Contract Theory in the Age of Climate Crisis, forthcoming);

- Esmeralda Colombo, “From Bushfires to Misfires: Climate-Related Financial Risk after McVeigh v. Retail Employees Superannuation Trust” (2022) 11 Transnational Environmental Law 173; quoted by IPCC Working Group III, 2022;

- Lars August Hafting Kvestad– Esmeralda Colombo, “Il sistema di governo nel Regno di Norvegia: istituzioni regionali e istituzioni locali” (2021) 5 Le Regioni, pp. 1111ff;

- Esmeralda Colombo, “Stockage de l’énergie renouvelable : vers de nouvelles voies de pratique juridique transnationale”, Juriste (Union Internationale des Avocats) 1/2021;

- Esmeralda Colombo, “People v. Arctic Oil and Its Discontents: The Norwegian Paradox in Global Climate and Energy Justice” in R.S. Abate and others, Global Perspective on Climate and Energy Justice (2021) 51 ELR 10462-10465;

- Esmeralda Colombo, “Law&Ethics: Deep Ecology, Climate Change, and Norway’s Wolf Policy” (2021) 67 Scandinavian Studies in Law 273;

- Esmeralda Colombo, “«Det norske paradokset» i Klimasøksmål Arktis: ein rettsleg analyse av økonomiske vurderingar” (2020) 2 Retfærd 47;

- Esmeralda Colombo – Anastasia Giadrossi, “Comparative International Litigation and Climate Change: A Case Study on Access to Justice in Adaptation Matters” (2019) 81 University of Pittsburgh Law Review 527;

- Esmeralda Colombo, “The Quest for Cosmopolitan Justice in Climate Matters”, (2017) 2 Nordisk Miljörättslig Tidskrift 25;

- Bruno Fiammella – Esmeralda Colombo, “Le ‘App’ tra progettazione e trattamento dati personali, alla ricerca di una terza via” (2017) Rivista elettronica di diritto, economia, management 103;

- Esmeralda Colombo, “Enforcing International Climate Change Law in Domestic Courts: A New Trend of Cases for Boosting Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration?” (2016) 35 UCLA Journal of Environmental Law and Policy 98;

- Esmeralda Colombo, “Enforcing International Law in US Courts: The LOS Convention at Play in Kivalina” (2016) 23 ILSA Journal of International & Comparative Law 106.

Books and Contributions to Edited Books

- Esmeralda Colombo, “From Climate Risk to Climate Opportunity: A Functional Framework for Pension Fund Investment Governance” in ER de Jong et al. (eds), Corporate Responsibility and Liability in relation to Climate Change (Intersentia, forthcoming 2023);

- Esmeralda Colombo – Lars August Hafting Kvestad, “Is There An Italian Legal Culture?” in S. Koch – M.M. Kjølstad (eds), Comparing Legal Cultures (Springer, forthcoming 2023);

- Esmeralda Colombo, “Access to Justice Reloaded. The Role of International Law in National Climate Change Cases” (University of Bergen, dissertation 2021);

- Esmeralda Colombo, “Climate Change and the Individual: A Norwegian Perspective” in F. Sindico – M.M. Mbengue (eds), Comparative Climate Change Litigation: Beyond the Usual Suspects, Springer, 2021;

- Esmeralda Colombo – Lars August Hafting Kvestad, “An Introduction to Italian Legal Culture” in S. Koch – J.Ø. Sunde (eds), Comparing Legal Cultures, Fagbokforlaget, 2020;

- Esmeralda Colombo, “(Un)comfortably Numb: The Role of National Courts for Access to Justice in Climate Matters” in J. Jendrośka – M. Bar (eds), Procedural Environmental Rights: Principle X in Theory and Practice, Intersentia, 2017, 437-464;

- Esmeralda Colombo, El Sistema: musica per la politica criminale, Firenze Atheneum, Florence, 2014, 448 pp;

- Esmeralda Colombo, “Associazione a delinquere di stampo mafioso - Il business dei rifiuti” in B. Fiammella (ed.), Pareri e Atti svolti di diritto penale. Speciale Esame di Avvocato 2014, Altalex Professionale - Esami&Concorsi, Milan, 2014, pp. 112-118. Republished in the same collection in 2017.

Reports (selected)

- Esmeralda Colombo – Eivind Hoff-Elimari, “En stemme for naturen: slik kan vi forbedre naturens rettssikkerhet i Norge” (Pan – Foreningen Grunnloven §112, Report 1/2022).

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