Fossil fuel companies may face extensive litigation for climate change damages, warn experts

Author: Andrew Gage, West Coast Environmental Law & Michael Byers, University of British Columbia, in Globe and Mail (Canada) , Published on: 13 October 2014

"Why climate litigation could soon go global", 9 Oct 2014

Climate change is no longer a distant threat…Canadian oil and gas companies could soon find themselves on the hook for at least part of the damage. For as climate change costs increase, a global debate has begun about who should pay…So far, the fossil fuel industry has successfully opposed litigation for climate damages, brought in the United States by victims of hurricanes and sea level rise. But new areas of litigation often fail at first…It is becoming increasingly likely that companies could be sued by victims of climate change overseas, in countries with quite different legal systems…Moreover, new laws could be introduced to facilitate climate litigation…We believe that a new global awareness of the moral and legal responsibilities of the carbon majors will lead to a wave of climate litigation. Foreign lawsuits – with damage awards that are potentially enforceable in Canada – will be difficult and expensive to defend. [Also refers to Canadian Natural Resources, Chevron, EnCana, Husky Energy, Suncor, Talisman]

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Related companies: Canadian Natural Resources Chevron EnCana Husky Energy Suncor Talisman