Best of Climate Litigation

Damaging others property is illegal everywhere. Burning fossil fuels causes damages via climate change. But courts have not yet dealt with the issue appropriately. Climate litigation is already starting to demand compensation for damages from fossil fuel companies. However, judges are often unwilling to rule on an the topic, because it is unfamiliar. The situation has been described by a legal scholar as a swamp, that judges are reluctant to walk into.

 

Actor(s)

Climate litigators

 

Trigger (intervention)

Resource showing how straightforward climate litigation has become, which precedents exist, and which areas of the swamp need more draining.

 

Criticality

Through previous climate lawsuits, we already have a good number of precedents where judges have ruled on a wide range of aspects related to climate change and the connection between activities of fossil fuel companies and damages. What is missing today is a resource that brings together these different pieces in a way that makes it clear to lawyers and judges that vast parts of the swamp have already been drained and are ready to walk on. Many people are looking for ways to get engaged on climate change and here is a very effective tool.

 

Feedback Dynamics

More lawsuits, more rulings, more precedents, better prospects of winning compensation claims, more lawsuits. This will strip fossil fuel companies of their capital and drive investors away through fear of future lawsuits.

 

Timescale and scaleability

The collapse of the investor-owned fossil fuel industry will happen once enough lawsuits are successful, tentatively in the first half of the 2020s. The aim is to get to a situation where anyone affected by climate damages can bring a compensation claim to the carbon majors.

 

Resistance

 

Author

Kjell Khne

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