Friday, October 17, 2014

Canadian big five possibly liable for 2.4 billion USD per year via foreign jurisdictions

 the five biggest Canadian oil and
gas companies could be held liable
for 2.4 billion US-Dollars 
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the West Coast Environmental Law Foundation claim, in a study elaborated by two of their staff, that the five biggest Canadian oil and gas companies could be held liable for 2.4 billion US-Dollars per year due to their contribution to climate change. The two Canadian centers assume that there are manifold legal avenues to claim compensation for climate change damages. Climate change damages can be observed around the globe. Therefore the law of many different countries can apply, not just the Canadian law. Furthermore, the countries concerned by climate change may even adapt their law to facilitate climate change litigation in the same way as some Canadian provinces did for tobacco litigation. Once a judgment has been obtained outside Canada, enforcement might take place in Canada as well, say the authors.

It seems that the West Coast Environmental Law foundation has started to engage in a more comprehensive program promoting climate change compensation by civil law litigation in an international context. To our knowledge, it is the first medium size NGO to do so. has advocated this approach for many years already, hoping to promote a game change from a purely national perspective to a global one. The study contains many references that demonstrate the viability of the international approach. This is the first merit of the study. The second consists in drawing the attention to the possibility of countries threatened by climate change to modify their private law in a view of climate change litigation, and therein namely compensation claims. investigates this issue in the following blog post.


Related: Read more about Canadian Environmental law, and other North American Law with regards to climate change litigation.

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