Commentary: Climate change litigation turns up the heat on corporations

Author: Cain Burdeau, Courthouse News Service (USA), Published on: 7 November 2018

"Climate Change Litigation Turns Up the Heat on Corporations", 1 Nov 2018

...In London, some of the world’s biggest corporations — and biggest polluters — are being asked to appear...before a human rights commission from...the Philippines.  The commission is investigating whether climate change made the deadly Typhoon Yolanda in 2013 even more catastrophic....Similar legal actions are in court in the United States...

Legal experts say these are crucial cases in a new legal assault: People around the world are bringing claims, sharpened by advances in science, against the world’s biggest corporate polluters.  The lawsuits aim to make companies pay for the destruction caused by a warming planet and force them to cut their carbon emissions...

The Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines...is examining whether the so-called “carbon majors” — as the 90 entities are named collectively — should be deemed responsible for climate change...Major oil companies have been asked to present testimony, but so far none have.  In filings to the human rights commission, the biggest oil and gas corporations deny that the commission has jurisdiction in the matter.  ExxonMobil, Chevron and BP did not reply to messages seeking comment. Shell declined to comment...

Corporations have argued that their activities play an insignificant part in causing global warming.  The courts...have found it hard to say who is to blame and ruled that society as a whole is responsible...[S]uccess in the courts is far from certain...

Read the full post here

Related companies: BP Chevron ExxonMobil RWE Shell