Canadian oil and gas companies could be liable for billions of dollars of damages per year for their contribution to climate change caused by toxic greenhouse gas emissions, according to a study published Thursday.
The study looked at five oil and gas companies currently trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange — Encana, Suncor, Canadian Natural Resources, Talisman, and Husky — and found they could presently be incurring a global liability as high as $2.4 billion annually.
“Climate change is increasingly discussed not as some far-off threat but in terms of current realities,” said the 62-page study — Payback Time? What the internationalization of climate litigation could mean for Canadian oil and gas companies.
Published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and West Coast Environmental Law (WCEL), the study found data showing the global financial cost of private and public property and other damage associated with climate change in 2010 has been estimated at $591 billion, rising to $4.2 trillion in 2030.