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21 Jun 2011

Lawrence Hurley, Greenwire (USA)

Impact of Supreme Court's Greenhouse Gas Ruling Likely to Be Felt in Other Cases [USA]

The Supreme Court's ruling…finding that states cannot invoke federal common law in an attempt to limit greenhouse gas emissions has left several key legal questions unanswered…[T]he court did not address whether states and others can sue under state law to limit emissions. The first case likely to be affected by the Supreme Court's decision is…Kivalina v. Exxon Mobil...Whatever happens in AEP on remand, lawyers assume there will be future cases in which state law claims are litigated…9th Circuit case focuses on a lawsuit filed by the Alaskan village of Kivalina against major polluters…Its lawyers, including Pawa, claim that emissions have contributed to rising sea levels that are now endangering the village, which sits at the end of an 8-mile barrier island that separates the Chukchi Sea and Kivalina River…Pawa said Kivalina can be distinguished from AEP because the village is seeking monetary damages -- based on its need to relocate -- rather than injunctive relief in the form of reduced emissions.

Part of the following timelines

USA: Supreme Court rejects lawsuit against five major power companies filed by states and private land trusts to combat climate change

Kivalina lawsuit (re global warming)