climate lawsuits

"Disappointing" Decision from Norway's Supreme Court in Climate Lawsuit Challenging Arctic Offshore Oil Licenses

Read time: 5 mins

Norway’s Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled not to overturn the Norwegian government’s approval of new licenses for offshore oil drilling in the fragile Arctic region.

The ruling – a culmination of four years of high-profile litigation in a case challenging continued fossil fuel production on climate change grounds — came as a big disappointment, and even outrage, for environmental and climate activists in Norway and internationally.

2020 Was a Busy Year for Taking the Climate Fight to the Courts

Read time: 11 mins
The Supreme Court

This year with its converging crises, from the coronavirus pandemic to longstanding racial injustice to climate-related disasters  was also a remarkably active time for climate litigation. All around the world, communities, organizations, and especially young people turned to the courts in 2020 in strategic attempts to hold governments and polluting companies accountable for exacerbating the unfolding climate emergency.

New Youth Climate Lawsuit Launched Against UK Government on Five Year Anniversary of Paris Agreement

Read time: 6 mins
Boris Johnson

Three young British citizens and the climate litigation charity Plan B today announced they are taking legal action against the UK government for failing to sufficiently address the climate crisis.

The announcement comes on the five year anniversary of the landmark Paris Agreement the international accord intended to limit global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius and the lawsuit is the latest in a cascade of litigation around the world aimed at holding governments and polluters accountable for fuelling climate change.

Here's How Big Oil Wants The Supreme Court to Help Delay and Derail Climate Lawsuits

Read time: 11 mins
The Supreme Court

On January 19, 2021 — just one day before President-elect Joe Biden takes the oath of office — the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in a climate change accountability lawsuit brought by Baltimore, Maryland, against almost two dozen fossil fuel corporations.

Court Tosses Youth Climate Lawsuit Against Canada

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La Rose v. Her Majesty the Queen plaintiffs Ira, Albert, and Cecilia

The Federal Court of Canada has decided to dismiss a climate lawsuit based on constitutional rights and brought by 15 young Canadians against the federal government. The decision, issued October 27, effectively denies the youths the chance to present their case and the supporting climate science at trial.

Fossil Fuel Companies Keep Getting Sued Over Climate Impacts. Here’s Where the Cases Stand

Read time: 9 mins
Pollution from an Exxon refinery on the Mississippi River

September saw a flurry of new lawsuits filed by cities and states against major fossil fuel companies over the climate crisis and the resulting impacts that are already being felt. After Hoboken, New Jersey sued Big Oil and its largest trade association, the American Petroleum Institute, on September 2, back-to-back lawsuits came the following week from Charleston, South Carolina and the state of Delaware. Connecticut then followed with a lawsuit singularly targeting ExxonMobil, which remains one of the largest oil companies in the world and appears determined to double down on its core fossil fuel business despite knowing decades ago about the climate consequences of using its products. 

Why a Tidal Wave of Climate Lawsuits Looms Over the Fossil Fuel Industry

Read time: 9 mins
Flooded Exxon gas station in Delaware

By Karen Savage, The Climate Docket. Originally published on The Climate Docket.

Amid a summer rife with climate-related disasters, the liability lawsuits came like an advancing flood, first Minnesota and Washington D.C. within days of each other in June, followed by Hoboken, Charleston, Delaware and Connecticut in rapid succession in September. Their suits have turned a summer of unrest into a quest to make fossil fuel companies pay for the damages caused by the burning of their products, joining a trend that began three years ago but evolving to match the circumstances of today.

How Congress Can Support Lawsuits Demanding Climate Accountability

Read time: 7 mins
Kelsey Juliana and Levi D by US Capitol

On Wednesday, September 23, several members of Congress introduced a resolution in both houses that supports the principles and demands of the 21 youth suing the U.S. government in the landmark constitutional climate case Juliana v. United States. Titled the “Children’s Fundamental Rights and Climate Recovery Resolution,” this Congressional resolution, though nonbinding, demonstrates one way that Congress can play a key role in supporting the growing calls to hold the federal government and fossil fuel companies accountable for the devastating damages of the climate crisis.

Australian Teens Bring Class Action Climate Lawsuit to Stop Coal Mine Expansion

Read time: 6 mins
students hold signs protesting coal and the climate crisis at the Melbourne School Strike for Climate in 2018

This week, a group of eight Australian teens has brought a groundbreaking new climate change lawsuit against Australia’s Federal Minister for the Environment in an effort to stop a proposed coal mine expansion in the state of New South Wales, roughly 267 miles north of Sydney.

Filing a class action lawsuit in federal court, these students are representing not just themselves but young people under age 18 across Australia and around the world, as the generation that is particularly imperiled from the climate crisis and the continued fossil fuel expansion driving climate breakdown. 

Delaware Just Sued 30 Fossil Fuel Companies and the American Petroleum Institute Over Climate 'Denial and Disinformation'

Read time: 7 mins
Flood damage from Hurricane Irene at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware.

Delaware, the home state of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, announced on Thursday, September 10 that it is taking dozens of major oil and gas companies including BP, Chevron, and ExxonMobil to court over the rising costs of climate impacts such as sea level rise and coastal flooding.

Like other U.S. states and municipalities suing the fossil fuel industry, Delaware says that the industry knew half a century ago about the likely climate impacts resulting from the use of its products, but instead of warning the public or changing their business model, the fossil fuel companies engaged in campaigns to attack climate science and downplay the risks of burning coal, oil, and gas in order to stave off policy responses.

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