Thursday, May 29, 2014

Recent articles on climate change litigation

Current state of climate change litigation 
Legal avenues to fight climate change are limited, but growing”, says Sharon Turner. She stresses “the injustices of climate change”, for which she assumes that the victims of climate change will ultimately get compensation from greenhouse gas emitters. Ever new research demonstrates causality between CO2 emissions and climate change. “Legal rulings will ultimately turn against greenhouse gas emitters”. She guesses that, backed by company law disclosure rules, this will lead to a change in the business practice of companies.

There are little chances for successful climate change litigation against U.S. cities for failing to protect against climate-change consequences, says Jenna Shweitzer on regblog.org, a law blog run by the University of Pennsylvania. More on this type of climate change litigation is to be found in our next blog entry “A new role for insurers in climate change compensation?”

Assad W Razzouk wrote in “The Independent” of Tuesday 22 April 2014 that “a barrage of lawsuits is needed to curb climate change”. Mr Razzouk has not compensation lawsuits against polluters in mind. Instead he wishes that trustees of investment funds are targeted for violating human and other essential rights. He does not expect a high success rate, but thinks that suing them would amount to a successful political campaign. Mr Razzouk thinks that pension fund trustee would not “like to be accused of violating the basic human rights” … “of millions of people and of many millions to come.” Climate justice issues for small islands developing countries are examined in this policy brief of the Hague Institute.

Anthony Cappelletti fears, in “Tort Issues for General Insurance Actuaries” that the big natural disasters might trigger “significant litigation” against insurance companies. This view is not particularly new. Unfortunately, he does not either bring along a deeper reasoning wherefore we do not recommend this article.

Update: More noteworthy documents on insurances and climate change compensation litigation is to be found in our next blog entry “A new role for insurers in climate change compensation?

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