Recently the media have been full of stories about climate litigation. In the last few weeks alone, we have seen reports of a claim brought in Guyana by an indigenous tourist guide and a university lecturer claiming that (to quote the Guardian report):

Guyana’s approval of oil exploration licences violates the government’s legal duty to protect their right and the right of future generations to a healthy environment. It is the first constitutional climate case in the Caribbean to challenge fossil fuel production on climate and human rights grounds.”

Also a class action in Australia, brought by eight High School students, where the Court found that the Australian federal environment minister has a duty to take reasonable care not to cause young people injury from the harms of climate change (at least, that’s how the Guardian reported it).

And of course a Dutch court recently ordered Shell to cut carbon emissions from its oil and gas by 45% by 2030.

More recently still, we have learned that climate activists have sued the Italian government over “inaction”. The 203 claimants apparently include environmental associations, Italian citizens (well, one would hope so), foreign residents, and young activists with the Italy wing of the Fridays for Future group.

These are just some of the more recent cases to come to trial and/or to be given prominence by that large section of the mainstream media which approves of this sort of thing. This is just the tip of the iceberg. So I thought I’d look into the issue a little further. But – where to start?

Thank goodness for the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia University, the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science (and you won’t hear me say that very often). The reason for my gratitude is that they have been monitoring the situation closely, and thanks to them, much of the information regarding climate litigation trends is readily available.

Fresh Fields

Strictly speaking, I’m referring to the major law firm of Freshfields Bruckhaus Derringer, whose website contains an excellent interactive section, which can be scrolled through to see the trends. It is based on the information provided by the monitoring groups mentioned above (accurate to December 2019). From this we learn:

There had, to that date, been almost 1,400 climate-related litigation cases around the world;

The number rose dramatically over the 15 years to 2019;

Most are brought in the west, with a handful in emerging markets;

Almost 1,100 (or 79%) of those cases were brought in the USA…

…where the four years to 2019 saw the largest number of cases opened since records began;

Globally, 135 cases (10%) were directed at businesses, mostly in the USA and Australia;

Such litigation (against businesses) had increased since 2016;

Most (79) of the 135 cases against businesses involved defendants from the energy and natural resources industry, and most of those were in the USA;

More cases were, by 2019, starting to emerge in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

The interactive nature of the website makes it a fascinating tool. Click on a dot (representing a case) and it offers a brief summary of that particular piece of litigation. The first one I clicked on at random was a piece of Polish litigation alleging that Polska Grupa Energetyczna, the operator of Europe’s largest power plant, Belchatow, has not presented any official plan to reduce its climate impacts. The lawsuit seeks to block the plant operators from burning lignite – or require measures to reduce carbon dioxide emissions – by 2035.

Right next to it, the adjacent dot happened to be the Dutch case against Shell. Next again, a case in Luxembourg against the Luxembourgish Minister of Social Security, who, Greenpeace claims, failed to respond to a letter asking for information regarding how Luxembourg’s sovereign pension fund planned to align its investments with the objectives of the Paris Agreement, and information on the climate-related financial risks associated with the fund’s investments.

And so on – endlessly fascinating if you’re into that sort of thing.

Shareholder action

A new development has been that of activists buying shares in fossil fuel companies, mostly it seems with the idea of becoming active at shareholder meetings, and persuading management to change direction, and/or to impose activist directors on the board. There is another possibility, though, arising from this activity – the possibility of shareholder litigation against the company itself.

And as the Freshfields website points out, this is where the Law of Unintended Consequences might have a role to play. Fossil fuel companies that prioritise investments in emissions-reducing technologies over immediate profits run the risk of shareholder suits from short-term investors. They are in the potentially impossible position of facing the twin risk of being sued, including via class action litigation, whatever they do. They are, potentially, damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

Freshfields again:

Plaintiffs bringing common law tort and public nuisance claims are now seeking to rely on academic studies that attempt to quantify individual actors’ contribution to man-made emissions since the start of the industrial era. Researchers are developing models in a bid to tie climate change to extreme weather at a local level – and to predict where those events might strike next. The Federal Judge hearing a case in San Francisco was so intrigued by developments in causation and attribution science that he staged a day-long ‘teach-in’ to prepare for legal arguments. While he ultimately ruled his Court was not the right forum for such a case (and stated in his judgment that the current slew of nuisance suits could harm attempts to reach international consensus on climate change), it brought these developing theses into the spotlight.”

In the USA, for now at least, however, the Supreme Court decision of AEP v Connecticut, the first global warming case based on a public nuisance claim, which was brought to court in the Southern District of New York in 2004, offers some protection to fossil fuel companies from litigation. The unanimous ruling of the Court states that the management of emissions is the responsibility of the Environmental Protection Agency, not corporations. As we are seeing increasingly, however, this same principle does not necessarily seem to apply in other jurisdictions.

Europe

There are many excellent websites which can be used to find out more about the world of climate litigation. One organisation (Germanwatch) which I believe is funding the case in question, has a timeline for a potentially very interesting (and, for fossil fuel companies, worrying) case: Lliuya -v- RWE.

In November 2015, Mr Lliuya, a Peruvian farmer and mountain guide brought a case in the German Courts against the German company, RWE. His claim is that the energy company’s greenhouse gas emissions threaten his family, his property, and a large part of the city of Huaraz. RWE’s defence disputed its liability for alleged climate-change damage in the Andes, and further denied that Huaraz is at risk from flooding. The Essen District Court dismissed the case, but the Appeal Court has allowed it to go forward. Experts have been appointed, but further developments appear to have been delayed by the covid crisis.

Should liability in this case ultimately be found against RWE, the precedent could be very damaging indeed for fossil fuel companies. This is an area where Europe seems to be much more hostile to fossil fuel companies than has been the case in the USA to date (despite the significantly greater number of cases so far brought in the USA). Whether the US situation changes should the balance on the Supreme Court change during the Biden presidency remains to be seen.

There are just too many cases to mention in detail here, but for anyone interested, in addition to the Freshfields website, much useful information can be found here:

https://www.climateinthecourts.com/cases-against-corporations.html

2020 Update

As mentioned above, Freshfields’ excellent interactive website takes matters only up to the end of 2019. Fortunately, the LSE and Grantham Institute have produced a snapshot of global trends in climate litigation, by way of an update, to July 2020 (unfortunately there has been almost a year of considerable activity since then):

https://www.lse.ac.uk/granthaminstitute/publication/global-trends-in-climate-change-litigation-2020-snapshot/

This is a 30 page report, and it’s well worth reading. The trends identified above continue. The countries (or jurisdictions) where litigation has taken place between 1986 and 2020 are worth noting, by case number (the main ones only):

USA – 1,213;

Australia – 98;

UK – 62;

EU – 57;

Canada – 22;

New Zealand – 18;

Spain – 13;

France – 11;

UN Framework Convention on Climate Change – 10;

Brazil, Germany, OECD – 6 each.

Some interesting general observations emerge.

More than 80% of cases outside the USA have been brought against governments.

Climate change is at the centre of legal arguments in about 41% of cases, and peripheral in about 59%.

Outside of the USA, 58% of cases had outcomes “favourable to climate change action”.

Developing trends include using human rights arguments as support in increasing numbers of cases; and fossil fuel companies are being subjected to increasing numbers of different types of litigation, especially in the USA, ranging from nuisance, to fraud, to disclosure-related claims.

2019 saw an escalation in claims; there were doubts as to what effect the covid crisis might have on case numbers, but it does seem that case numbers are recovering nicely.

Going against the flow

But it’s not all one-way traffic (even if the vehicles going the other way are very much going against the flow):

Two German companies – RWE (fighting back, it seems – their lawyers must be busy!) and Uniper (although I believe the latter is majority Finnish-owned) – are suing the Dutch government for compensation over the country’s planned coal phase-out under a 1990s the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT). RWE is seeking 1.4 billion euros in compensation, and Uniper is claiming between 850 million and one billion euros, in each case because the Dutch Government is phasing out coal use by 2030, thus (so the claim goes) causing the demise of their coal-fired plants in the Netherlands.

As I understand it, the ECT contains provisions against appropriation of foreign-owned assets by Governments. The argument against the Dutch government is that the change in Dutch policy with regard to coal use greatly damages the value of the plants, and amounts to expropriation.

I suppose what is good for the goose is good for the gander, but this sort of claim is very much the exception to the rule. Search for it online, and the level of hostile commentary is significant.

The great unanswered question

Try as I might, I have been able to find no answer (other than in the Lliuya case) to the obvious question – who is funding all this climate change litigation? Articles on the websites of the BBC, Guardian and others, reporting on the litigation, never seem to go near that question. I doubt that the Australian High School kids are paying for their action against the federal government, so who is? Whoever it is, substantial amounts of money must be being spent in this rapidly-developing and rapidly-intensifying area.

69 Comments

  1. It is probably not unusual for religious zealots to have disdain for democratic processes when imposing the focus of their religious zealotry.

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  2. Hmm, dead trees for binders full of documents, climate-controlled courtrooms, gas-guzzling limos to and from, and computers running 24/7.
    Sounds climate-conscious to me.

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  3. At times like these I usually fall back on my idea that in the West we have such comfortable lives that we have no concept of any alternative situation. We have taken cheap, reliable electricity for granted for a long time. Our freedom has only risen year on year, at least until the pandemic threw what may be a temporary spanner in the works.

    As we saw with the recently-resurfaced North Face story, folk have little conception of how embedded in our lives fossil fuels are. Perhaps they are persuaded by lies such as “100% renewable” electricity tariffs: after all, if one person can choose such a tariff, can’t we all? The protesters are unaware that most of their clothes are made of petrochemicals. As soon as international travel was allowed, folk flocked to Portugal: seems like a holiday, and not Net Zero, is actually the “People’s Priority.”

    Who benefits? Not the turkeys suing for Christmas. Private oil companies will benefit from immunity to boardroom shenanigans: turning a greater share of mining and extraction away from the more responsible companies. Muscular, totalitarian governments will benefit as insipid democracies wither. The climate children bringing their cases will find themselves worse off if they succeed. And all around them in the climate, nothing will have changed.

    When the histories of these times are written, I hope that it will be recorded that a few small voices spoke up against the madness.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Hard on the heels of one of the most prominent pieces of climate litigation recently:

    “Shell promises to accelerate shift to low carbon”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-57415965

    “The oil giant Shell will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions more quickly than planned following a legal ruling in the Netherlands, its chief executive has promised in a blog post.

    Shell would take “bold but measured steps”, Ben van Beurden wrote, but would still appeal against the ruling.

    Environmentalists won a court case in May, arguing Shell was failing to reduce emissions quickly enough.

    Friends of the Earth said if Shell were serious, it would drop the appeal.

    Mr van Beurden’s post on networking site LinkedIn acknowledged that the firm would have to respond to the court’s ruling without waiting for the outcome of the appeal, and that it applied to the energy giant’s worldwide business.

    However, he sought to reassure investors that it would not disrupt Shell’s plans.

    “For Shell, this ruling does not mean a change, but rather an acceleration of our strategy,” he wrote.

    The campaign group Milieudefensie, the Dutch branch of Friends of the Earth, which brought the case, successfully argued that Shell had a human rights obligation to bring its business into line with international agreements on avoiding faster heating of the planet.

    As a result, Shell must cut its CO2 emissions by 45% compared with 2019 levels, by 2030….”

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  5. Here’s the next one – they seem to be coming thick and fast:

    “Polish government faces court action over failure to tackle climate crisis
    Five citizens accuse government of failing to protect them from impacts of global heating”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jun/10/polish-government-faces-court-action-over-failure-to-tackle-climate-crisis

    “Five Polish citizens are taking their government to court over its failure to protect them from the impacts of the climate crisis.

    They say the state has breached their rights to life, health and family life by delaying action to cut national carbon emissions and propping up the coal industry.

    The first three cases were filed on Thursday in regional courts across Poland by Monika Stasiak, Małgorzata Górska and Piotr Nowakowski.

    Nowakowski, who lives in a forest in Wielkopolska, is worried that stronger storms and forest fires are increasingly threatening his home and safety.

    Stasiak and Górska both run tourism businesses in different parts of Poland that have been affected by changing rainfall patterns in very different ways: one has suffered from intensive drought and the other flash flooding.

    Stasiak told the Guardian the birth of her son had also motivated her to fight for climate action. “When my child was about 18 months old the [2018] IPCC report came out. It moved me and I decided I didn’t want that future for my child.”

    Two further cases will be filed later in the month by Piotr Romanowski, a farmer who has lost half his revenue after the land became too dry for his plants to survive, and 18-year-old climate activist Maya Ozbayoglu.

    The claimants are being represented by the international environmental law charity ClientEarth and the Polish law firm Gessel. It will be the first time national climate policy has been directly challenged in a Polish court.”

    This rather links in with “Big Green Charity”, given the involvement of “environmental law charity ClientEarth”.

    There is a real danger that we will reach the point (if we haven’t already) where Governments provide funding to climate charities, which then go and sue the Governments that help to fund them. I’m not sure that the average taxpayer would think that’s a good idea.

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  6. “Southampton Airport: Legal challenge over runway extension”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-57502371

    “Opponents of a scheme to extend an airport runway are mounting a legal challenge.

    Eastleigh Borough Council issued formal planning permission on 3 June for Southampton Airport to lengthen its runway by 164m (538ft).

    But campaigners Airport Expansion Opposition (AXO) have called the decision “wrong both in the way it was taken and the arguments to justify it”.”

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  7. If it’s cold, Texas hasn’t enough electricity for its needs, and now it seems the same is true when it’s hot.:

    “Sweltering Texans urged to reduce cooking and cleaning to ease grid strain
    Officials advise to avoid using large appliances such as ovens and washing machines, amid soaring summer temperatures”

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jun/16/texas-power-grid-conservation-heat-wave

    “As temperatures rise to unseasonably warm levels across Texas this week, its citizens are being asked to use less energy on basics like cooking and washing clothes to ease strain on the state’s power grid that is struggling to generate enough electricity to cope with the high temperatures.

    The move triggers memories for many Texans of the cold snap in the winter that incapacitated much of the state’s power infrastructure and raises fears that Texas – and other US states – are not prepared to deal with the extreme weather events that come with the global climate crisis.

    The authority running the Texas power grid has asked Texans to set thermostats to 78F (25.5C) or higher, turn off lights and pool pumps and avoid using large appliances such as ovens, washing machines and dryers.

    This is the second time that the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (Ercot) has issued such a call for conservation since the winter storms in February left more than 4.8m homes and businesses without electricity for days. The crisis was blamed for more than 100 deaths and $130bn in costs.

    In addition to plant outages, demand is high this week as cities across Texas expect temperatures in the 90s. The state broke its June electricity demand record on Monday.

    Summer hasn’t even officially begun, and the early calls for conservation raise questions over what will happen in the coming months and years as the global temperature continues to rise.

    “We’re heading into a future climate that is likely to have more extreme droughts and more powerful hurricanes, which put their own strain on the system,” said Dan Cohan, a civil engineering professor at Rice University. “This week we saw that the Texas power grid barely even prepared for weather that is hot for June, but nowhere near how hot it can get in July and August.”

    Cohan says that Ercot has not been transparent about which coal and gas plants are down and helping cause the strain on the grid, and why – it could be for maintenance, or repairs from February’s knockout blows, or preparing for potential summer demand.

    “Ercot has really been leaving us in the dark as to which coal and gas power plants are down, and why,” he said. “They offered a belated acknowledgment that there are more than twice as many power plants down as they expected but no real clarity on why it’s happening. A lot of us are left guessing.”

    The grid is only prepared to handle one crisis at a time, but often issues overlap – for example, when it’s very hot, often winds don’t blow as they typically would, or a spike in demand while power plants are offline.”

    Just had to be the fault of fossil fuels, not renewables, didn’t it?

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  8. “Belgium’s climate failures violate human rights, court rules
    Judges say state’s failure to meet climate targets breaches civil law and human rights convention”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jun/18/belgium-climate-policy-violates-human-rights-court-rules

    “Belgium’s failure to meet climate targets is a violation of human rights, a Brussels court has ruled, in the latest legal victory against public authorities that have broken promises to tackle the climate emergency.

    The Brussels court of first instance declared the Belgian state had committed an offence under Belgian’s civil law and breached the European convention on human rights.

    By not taking all “necessary measures” to prevent the “detrimental” effects of climate change, the court said, Belgian authorities had breached the right to life (article 2) and the right to respect for private and family life (article 8).

    The NGO that brought the case, Klimaatzaak, hailed the judgment as historic, both in the nature of the decision and the court’s recognition of 58,000 citizens as co-plaintiffs.

    “For the first time it is recognised that we are in direct, personal and real danger,” said Serge de Gheldere, the chairman of Klimaatzaak, which means climate case in Dutch.”

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  9. “Climate change: Courts set for rise in compensation cases”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-57641167

    “There’s likely to be a significant increase in the number of lawsuits brought against fossil fuel companies in the coming years, say researchers.

    Their new study finds that to date, lawyers have failed to use the most up-to-date scientific evidence on the cause of rising temperatures.

    As a result, there have been few successful claims for compensation.

    That could change, say the authors, as evidence linking specific weather events to carbon emissions increases….

    …However, there have been few successes in cases where the plaintiffs have sought compensation for damages caused by climate change linked to human activity.

    This new study has assessed some 73 lawsuits across 14 jurisdictions and says that the evidence presented to the courts lagged significantly behind the most recent climate research.

    Over the past two decades, scientists have attempted to demonstrate the links between extreme weather events and climate change, which are in turn connected to human activities such as energy production and transport.

    These studies, called attribution science, have become more robust over the years.

    For example, researchers have been able to show that climate change linked to human activities made the European summer heatwave in 2019 both more likely and more intense….”

    The study, should anybody be interested, can be found here:

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-021-01086-7

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  10. “UK road-building scheme breaches climate commitments, high court told
    Transport Action Network says £27bn programme does not take account of Paris climate agreement”

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/jun/29/uk-roadbuilding-scheme-breaches-climate-commitments-high-court-told

    “The government’s plans for a multibillion pound road-building scheme would breach the UK’s legal commitments to tackle the climate crisis and critically undermine the country’s standing ahead of a key summit later this year, the high court has heard.

    Lawyers acting for the Transport Action Network (TAN) argued that plans for the UK’s huge £27bn road building programme – set out in its Road Investment Strategy 2 (RIS2) last year – did not take into account the government’s obligations to reach net zero emissions by 2050 or its commitments under the Paris climate agreement.

    Campaigners accuse the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, and the Department for Transport of unlawfully failing to take account of the “obviously material” impact of the roads programme on the UK’s climate commitments.

    Before the hearing on Tuesday Chris Todd, director of TAN, described the proceedings as the “biggest legal challenge to transport policy in British history.”….

    …Experts say the UK’s road network and its wider transport infrastructure are crucial in the country’s efforts to avoid the worst effects of the climate crisis. The transport sector is one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases and the only one to have increased its emissions in recent years.

    Earlier this month the Welsh government announced a freeze on its future road building as part of its plans to tackle the climate emergency

    The case at the high court is due to conclude on Wednesday with judgment expected to be given at a later date.”

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  11. “Big oil and gas kept a dirty secret for decades. Now they may pay the price”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jun/30/climate-crimes-oil-and-gas-environment

    “Via an unprecedented wave of lawsuits, America’s petroleum giants face a reckoning for the devastation caused by fossil fuels

    After a century of wielding extraordinary economic and political power, America’s petroleum giants face a reckoning for driving the greatest existential threat of our lifetimes.

    An unprecedented wave of lawsuits, filed by cities and states across the US, aim to hold the oil and gas industry to account for the environmental devastation caused by fossil fuels – and covering up what they knew along the way.

    Coastal cities struggling to keep rising sea levels at bay, midwestern states watching “mega-rains” destroy crops and homes, and fishing communities losing catches to warming waters, are now demanding the oil conglomerates pay damages and take urgent action to reduce further harm from burning fossil fuels.”

    Worth a read for a summary of the avalanche of claims being brought.

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  12. And if the author of this article has his way, criminal litigation will follow on from the plethora of civil law suits:

    “The climate crisis is a crime that should be prosecuted
    Mark Hertsgaard
    Fossil fuel companies lied for decades about climate change, and humanity is paying the price. Shouldn’t those lies be central to the public narrative?”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jun/30/climate-crisis-crime-fossil-fuels-environment

    “Every person on Earth today is living in a crime scene.

    This crime has been going on for decades. We see its effects in the horrific heat and wildfires unfolding this summer in the American west; in the mega-storms that were so numerous in 2020 that scientists ran out of names for them; in the global projections that sea levels are set to rise by at least 20ft. Our only hope is to slow this inexorable ascent so our children may figure out some way to cope.

    This crime has displaced or killed untold numbers of people around the world, caused countless billions of dollars in economic damage and ravaged vital ecosystems and wildlife. It has disproportionately affected already marginalized communities around the world, from farmers in coastal Bangladesh, where the fast-rising seas are salting the soil and slashing rice yields, to low-income residents of Houston, Chicago and other cities, whose neighborhoods suffer higher temperatures than prosperous areas across town.”

    I wonder if he would prosecute wind farm companies for “ravaged vital ecosystems and wildlife”?

    Liked by 2 people

  13. “French court orders government to act on climate in next nine months
    Council of State says it will assess state’s actions after 31 March 2022, and could issue substantial fines”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jul/01/french-court-orders-government-to-act-on-climate-in-next-nine-months

    “France’s top administrative court has ordered the government to take “all necessary additional steps” within the next nine months to enable it to reach its climate crisis targets or face possible sanctions, including substantial fines.

    The Council of State said in a final ruling published on Thursday, with no possibility for appeal by the government, that France was not on track to meet its goal of achieving a 40% cut in emissions from 1990 levels by 2030.

    “The Council of State therefore instructs the government to take additional measures between now and 31 March 2022 to hit the target,” it said.

    A spokesperson said it would assess the state’s actions after the deadline, which falls days before the first round of presidential polls in which Emmanuel Macron is expected to seek re-election, and could issue a fine if it considered it necessary.

    “This ruling by the Council of State is historic: for the first time in France, the state has been ordered to act for the climate,” said Damien Carême, an MEP and former mayor of the northern coastal town of Grande-Synthe, which brought the case.”

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Occasionally the litigation goes the other way!

    “French wind farm causes storm in Belgium”

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/french-wind-farm-causes-storm-in-belgium-w63w955vr

    “Belgium is to take legal action against France over plans for an offshore wind farm that it says will damage its hopes of reopening a post-Brexit ferry line across to Britain.

    The scheme, which involves placing 46 turbines as high as the Eiffel Tower off Dunkirk, has infuriated the Belgian authorities, who accuse France of a high-handed dismissal of their concerns.

    The row has done nothing to enhance France’s reputation in Belgium, where football fans celebrated the French team’s elimination from the Euro 2020 tournament this week by burning tricolour flags. “

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  15. “Australian government must protect young people from climate crisis harm, court declares
    Environment minister has 28 days to appeal historic ruling that carbon emissions from coalmine should not cause young people ‘personal injury or death’”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jul/08/australian-government-must-protect-young-people-from-climate-crisis-harm-court-declares

    “Australia’s federal court has formally declared the nation’s environment minister has a “duty to take reasonable care” that young people won’t be harmed or killed by carbon dioxide emissions if she approves a coalmine expansion, in a judgment that could have wider implications for fossil fuel projects.

    In the federal court case, brought by eight schoolchildren and an octogenarian nun, Justice Mordecai Bromberg on Thursday also ordered the minister pay all costs….

    …Sharma said the “historic ruling” would make it harder for politicians “to continue to approve large-scale fossil fuel projects that will only fast-track the climate crisis.”

    In his May judgment, Bromberg said the potential harm to children from climate change “may fairly be described as catastrophic, particularly should global average surface temperatures rise to and exceed 3C beyond the pre-industrial level”.

    Lawyer David Barnden, who represented the children, said: “For young people this decision brings hope and anticipation of a better, and responsible decision making by government. The ramifications for the minister are clear.”

    The judge’s declaration was made in relation to the Vickery Extension project, which gained approval from the NSW Independent Planning Commission in August last year. Ley has still to approve the project.

    Whitehaven has said about 60% of the coal from the extension will be used for making steel, with the rest for burning in power stations.

    Barnden said it was conceivable the duty of care would extend to other fossil fuel projects that came before the minister for approval. He said the minister would have 28 days to appeal against the case.

    A spokesperson for the minister said: “The Morrison government will review the judgment closely and assess all available options.””

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  16. And occasionally the litigation goes the other way:

    “North Dakota sues over Biden’s halt in oil and gas leases on public lands
    State protests lost revenue and insists on right to control “its own natural resources””

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jul/08/north-dakota-sues-biden-administration-oil-gas-leases-public-lands

    “North Dakota has sued the Biden administration over its suspension of new oil and gas leases on federal land and water, saying the move will cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue.”

    Like

  17. “Southampton Airport: Runway legal review request submitted”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-57834948

    “Opponents of the planned extension to Southampton Airport runway have formally submitted their request for a judicial review to the High Court.

    Eastleigh Borough Council has approved plans to lengthen the runway by 164m (538ft).

    Campaigners Airport Expansion Opposition (AXO) said the decision needed the “full scrutiny” of a judicial review.

    The council previously said it was confident its procedures were sound.

    The airport plans to extend the runway in order to accommodate larger planes needed for longer haul flights.”

    Like

  18. “Oil giant Shell set to appeal against ruling on carbon emissions
    Company hopes to get Dutch court ruling overturned which called for it to cut emissions faster”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jul/20/oil-giant-shell-set-to-appeal-ruling-on-carbon-emissions

    “Royal Dutch Shell has confirmed that it will appeal against the landmark Dutch court ruling calling for the oil giant to cut its carbon emissions faster.

    A court in The Hague reached the milestone verdict in May this year after Friends of the Earth and over 17,000 co-plaintiffs successfully argued that Shell had been aware of the dangerous consequences of CO2 emissions for decades, and that its climate targets did not go far enough.

    Ben van Beurden, Shell’s chief executive, said the company agrees that “urgent action is needed” to reduce carbon emissions, and vowed to accelerate its progress towards becoming a net zero carbon company, but said that Shell would still appeal against the ruling “because a court judgment, against a single company, is not effective”.

    “What is needed is clear, ambitious policies that will drive fundamental change across the whole energy system,” he said. “Climate change is a challenge that requires both urgent action and an approach that is global, collaborative and encourages coordination between all parties.”

    Friends of the Earth Netherlands, also known as Milieudefensie, said the appeal would send “the wrong signal” and confirm Shell’s “lack of commitment” to tackling the global climate crisis.

    Donald Pols, a director at Milieudefensie, said the appeal aimed to postpone any action from Shell and warned that “the longer the delay the more serious the climate consequences will be for us all”.

    The court ruled that Shell has an obligation to cut its carbon emissions by 45% by 2030, compared with 2019 levels, under both Dutch law and the European convention on human rights – the right to life and the right to family life – and that the company had known for “a long time” about the damage caused by carbon emissions.”

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  19. Here’s an interesting fightback:

    “Outrage as Italy faces multimillion pound damages to UK oil firm
    Secretive tribunals allow fossil fuel companies to sue governments for passing laws to protect environment”

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/jul/25/outrage-as-italy-faces-multimillion-pound-damages-to-uk-oil-firm

    “Italy could be forced to pay millions of pounds in damages to a UK oil company after banning new drilling near its coast.

    The case has sparked outrage at the secretive international tribunals at which fossil fuel companies can sue governments for passing laws to protect the environment – amid fears that such cases are slowing down action on the climate crisis. It is also fuelling concern that the UK is particularly exposed to the risk of oil firms suing to prevent green policies, potentially hampering climate action.

    Rockhopper Exploration, based in Salisbury, Wiltshire, bought a licence to drill for oil off Italy’s Adriatic coast in 2014. There had already been a wave of opposition to the project, with protests that drew tens of thousands of people. Within two years, the campaign won over the Italian parliament, which imposed a ban on oil and gas projects within 12 nautical miles of the Italian coast.

    Rockhopper fought back using a relatively obscure legal mechanism known as investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), which allows companies to sue governments for introducing policies that could affect their future earnings. Reports suggest Rockhopper has spent $29m (£21m) on the offshore project to date and is claiming damages of $275m based on expected future profits from the oilfield.

    The company said it has been advised that it has “strong prospects of recovering very significant monetary damages” as a result of Italy’s actions.”

    Like

  20. “Activists lose legal bid to stop £27bn roads plan for England
    Climate campaigners appeal against judgment saying ministers are being ‘let off the hook’”

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/jul/26/activists-lose-legal-bid-to-stop-27bn-roads-plan-for-england

    “Campaigners have lost a legal challenge to the government’s £27bn roadbuilding programme after the high court dismissed their application for a judicial review.

    Lawyers for Transport Action Network (TAN) argued that the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, had drawn up the roads investment strategy for England, known as RIS2, without taking into account the UK’s environmental commitments or assessing the additional carbon emissions and climate impact of another 4,000 miles of road.

    However, the judge, Mr Justice Holgate, said Shapps had received a “briefing, albeit laconic” from officials saying the policy was consistent with net zero targets, based on a comprehensive programme of analysis, and that Shapps did not need to know the actual numbers.

    He said claimants had “a heavy evidential onus to establish that a decision was irrational, absent bad faith or manifest absurdity” and noted that the government was “taking a range of steps to tackle the need for urgency in addressing carbon production in the transport sector”, adding: “Whether they are enough is not a matter for the court.”

    TAN argued Shapps was legally required to consider the effect on the environment and there was a clear inconsistency in increasing traffic during the worsening climate emergency.

    The campaigners’ lawyers have appealed against the judgment and are crowdfunding for further legal costs.”

    Like

  21. “Campaigners win right to challenge state aid for North Sea oil and gas
    High court allows Greenpeace UK and others to seek judicial review of support for fossil fuel industry”

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/jul/28/campaigners-win-right-to-challenge-state-aid-for-north-sea-oil-and-gas

    “The government will face a legal challenge over its continuing support for North Sea oil and gas production despite its legally binding target to end the UK’s contribution to the climate crisis.

    The high court agreed on Wednesday to allow a judicial review against the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), which set out a strategy earlier this year to continue to encourage the production of North Sea oil and gas while moving to a net zero carbon future.

    The strategy also fails to take into account the billions of pounds of public money required to support the industry, according to the coalition of green campaigners behind the legal challenge.

    The groups, which including Greenpeace UK, Friends of the Earth Scotland and 350.org, hope the judicial review could spell the end for production that relies on generous public subsidies.

    The OGA and the business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, will need to submit the grounds of their defence by the end of August, a little over two months before the UK hosts the Cop26 UN climate talks in Glasgow. The case is expected to be heard before the end of the year, with a decision in early 2022.”

    The article baldly says this (but provides no links or other authority to back up the claim):

    “The government has paid £3.2bn of public money to North Sea oil and gas companies since it signed up to the Paris climate agreement in 2015.”

    I have no idea whether or not that is accurate, but it seems so surprising, that I would have expected some additional information to back up the claim.

    Also, more litigation may be in the pipeline (pardon the pun):

    “Ministers may face a second legal challenge from Greenpeace over plans to allow exploration at the Cambo oilfield near Shetland after promising to put an end to new oil exploration licences that do not align with the UK’s climate goals.”

    It’s a pity Greenpeace isn’t so concerned about the environmental harm being caused to the Central Shetland Mainland by the enormous Viking Energy wind farm development.

    Like

  22. “Climate crisis has cost Colorado billions – now it wants oil firms to pick up the bill”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/aug/02/climate-crisis-boulder-colorado-lawsuit-exxonmobil-suncor

    “ExxonMobil and Suncor face lawsuits in the western state but big oil’s apologists say the US consumer is to blame for emissions…

    …Boulder county estimates it will cost taxpayers $100m over the next three decades just to adapt transport and drainage systems to the climate crisis, and reduce the risk from wildfires.

    The county government says the bill should be paid by those who drove the crisis – the oil companies that spent decades covering up and misrepresenting the warnings from climate scientists. It is suing the US’s largest oil firm, ExxonMobil, and Suncor, a Canadian company with its US headquarters in Colorado, to require that they “use their vast profits to pay their fair share of what it will cost a community to deal with the problem the companies created”.

    Boulder county, alongside similar lawsuits by the city of Boulder and San Miguel county in the south-west of the state, accuse the companies of deceptive trade practices and consumer fraud because their own scientists warned them of the dangers of burning of fossil fuels but the firms suppressed evidence of a growing climate crisis. The lawsuits also claim that as the climate emergency escalated, companies funded front groups to question the science in order to keep selling oil.

    “It is far more difficult to change it now than it would have been if the companies had been honest about what they knew 30 or 50 years ago,” said Marco Simons, general counsel for Earth Rights International, which is handling the lawsuit for the county. “That is probably the biggest tragedy here. Communities in this country and around the world were essentially robbed of their options.”

    Boulder county’s lawsuit contends that annual temperatures in Colorado will rise between 3.5F and 6.5F by 2050 and imperil the state’s economy, including farming and the ski industry….”.

    Like

  23. From this week’s Law Society Gazette:

    “According to a study by the London School of Economics, the number of disputes relating to climate change worldwide has more than doubled over the past five years. Most cases have been brought against governments – typically by corporations, non-governmental organisations and individuals – and have focused on compliance with climate commitments, human rights and the financial risk of climate change.”

    Like

  24. It seems that the only permissible litigation in this area is against fossil fuel companies, not by them:

    “Why is life on Earth still taking second place to fossil fuel companies?
    George Monbiot
    Effective action against climate breakdown is near impossible while governments are vulnerable to lawsuits”

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/aug/19/life-earth-second-place-fossil-fuel-climate-breakdown

    “A UK oil company is currently suing the Italian government for the loss of its “future anticipated profits”after Italy banned new oil drilling in coastal waters. Italy used to be a signatory to the Energy Charter Treaty, which allows companies to demand compensation if it stops future projects. The treaty’s sunset clause permits such lawsuits after nations are no longer party to it, so Italy can be sued even though it left the agreement in 2016. This is one of many examples of “investor-state dispute settlement”, that makes effective action against climate breakdown almost impossible. It represents an outrageous curtailment of political choice, with which governments like ours are entirely comfortable. I’m not sure how we can escape such agreements, but government lawyers should be all over this issue, looking for a way out. Otherwise, future corporate profits remain officially more important than life on Earth.”

    Like

  25. There definitely seems to be a push on the issue of fossil fuel companies daring to use litigation against governments constraining their activities:

    “UK ‘sitting on fence’ over reform of global fossil fuels deal
    Opposition Labour Party wants tougher UK stance on ability of fossil fuel companies to sue governments.”

    https://www.politico.eu/article/uk-reform-fossil-fuels-deal-energy-charter-treaty/

    “The U.K. government is “sitting on the fence” over calls to reform a decades-old agreement governing the global energy market ahead of the COP26 climate conference, according to the Labour Party.

    Shadow Trade Secretary Emily Thornberry has written to Trade Secretary Liz Truss, in a letter seen by POLITICO, urging the government to push for green reform in talks to refresh the Energy Charter Treaty.

    The international agreement, signed by 54 nations, was put together in the wake of the Cold War to open up the worldwide energy market. It allows private companies to sue governments for damages if the value or future profits of private investments are hurt by new legislation.

    Climate campaigners are fed up with companies using it to take legal action against nations that attempt to restrict fossil fuel operations in a bid to go green. More than 400 environmental groups, charities, NGOs and trade campaigners last month signed a statement calling for the U.K. and EU to withdraw from the ECT.

    German energy firm Uniper is using the investor-state dispute-settlement mechanism in the agreement to challenge the Dutch government over its plans to phase out coal power. British oil and gas exploration firm Rockhopper is awaiting the verdict of its challenge to Italian restrictions on offshore oil and gas operations in the Adriatic Sea.

    Talks to modernize the ECT have been in progress since 2017, but the process has been slow-going, and the U.K.’s Department for International Trade (DIT) is not pushing for fossil fuel investments to be outside its arbitration system. “

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Awesome to be alerted to the ECT debate Mark. Liz Truss has slammed the door in the face of extreme activists in what I’ll call (for want of a better title) the transgender wars. She’ll do this more quietly but it sounds like she’s on the right side again. (Though that fact is clearly needing to be confirmed.)

    Like

  27. Thanks, Richard. The Energy Charter Treaty is potentially a big deal. I’m far from convinced that I support it in principle, though it does seem right to me that Governments shouldn’t with impunity be able to encourage private business to do something then pull the rug from beneath their feet.

    Anyway, watch this space. I suspect it could be a big talking-point at COP26, in the absence of any substantive progress on any of the very big issues.

    Like

  28. “Judges urged to halt Vorlich North Sea oilfield”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-58411614

    “Greenpeace has urged judges to stop an oil field in the North Sea due to “myriad failures”.

    The environmental group believes permission should not have been granted for the Vorlich field, 150 miles east of Aberdeen.

    Ruth Crawford QC said Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng had been “deprived” of information about the environmental impact it could have.

    The Inner House of the Court of Session is hearing the case.

    Greenpeace has gone to Scotland’s highest civil court with the aim of overturning Mr Kwarteng’s decision giving permission for Vorlich.

    Ms Crawford told Scotland’s most senior judge, the Lord President, Lord Carloway, that the government had a legal obligation to conduct a proper public consultation on the development.

    The advocate for Greenpeace said the consultation that had been held was inadequate. She said it did not meet best practice and the government did not properly publicise the scheme….

    …Permission to drill the Vorlich site was given to BP in 2018.

    Greenpeace wants the court to revoke a permit to drill for 30 million barrels of oil. The court heard that BP failed to publish a statutory notice on its website regarding the development.

    The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has instructed Roddy Dunlop QC to contest the action.

    Mr Dunlop said the failure to publish the notice was an error, but that it would be wrong to overturn permission for Vorlich on this basis.

    He said: “A blank template went on rather than the notice itself. It is a minor technical issue which didn’t give rise to any material prejudice to any party.”

    The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), also contesting the action, has instructed advocate Ross McClelland to act on its behalf.

    Greenpeace believes that if it were to win its case at the Court of Session, it would have ramifications for how the UK government makes future oil permit decisions, such as the Cambo field off Shetland.

    The hearing continues on Thursday.”

    Like

  29. “Greenpeace Vorlich oilfield challenge ‘largely opportunistic'”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-58420025

    So far as I can see this is largely a re-hash of the earlier BBC article giving free publicity to Greenpeace’s legal challenge, though the headline (which seems to carry implicit criticism) is intriguing. The article contains this:

    “Ms Crawford said Greenpeace wanted proper public participation in important developments such as the Vorlich oilfield.”

    I wonder if Greenpeace also wants to see proper public participation in important developments such as massive wind farms?

    Like

  30. “The climate activists who want Norway to end oil and gas production”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/science-environment-58900652

    “As world leaders prepare for the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in November, soaring gas prices in Europe have exposed the continent’s deep dependence on fossil fuels. Young climate activists in Norway are asking European judges to stop their government allowing more drilling for oil and gas.”

    Who is funding them? And why?

    Like

  31. “Young climate activists vow to keep fighting despite UN setback
    Children’s rights body rejects landmark case by group of activists including Greta Thunberg”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/oct/20/young-climate-activists-vow-to-keep-fighting-despite-un-setback

    “A group of youth activists say they have been spurred to fight even harder after their landmark case arguing that countries perpetuating the climate crisis violate their human rights was rejected by a UN children’s rights body.

    Greta Thunberg and 15 other activists from around the world filed their case accusing Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany and Turkey of violating their rights to life, health and culture under the convention on the rights of the child by failing to cut greenhouse gas emissions to levels that would restrict global warming to 1.5C, in accordance with the Paris agreement.

    The Committee on the Rights of the Child accepted some of their arguments – including that states are legally responsible for the impact of emissions on children outside their borders and that the young people are victims of anticipated threats to their rights.

    But with only weeks to go until the start of vital climate talks at Cop26, the UN body ruled their case was inadmissible and said it would not hear it until they had first taken it to individual national courts – a process that lawyers predict will take years.

    The US climate activist Alexandria Villaseñor, who was one of the petitioners on the case, said she was shocked and angered by the result.

    The 16-year-old, who started school striking when she was 13 outside the UN headquarters in New York, predicts it will encourage young activists to be even more vocal at Cop26.”

    Like

  32. “Young Australians lodge human rights complaints with UN over alleged government inaction on climate
    Five young people argue 2030 emissions target fails to uphold the rights of young Australians”

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/oct/25/young-australians-lodge-human-rights-complaints-with-un-over-alleged-government-inaction-on-climate

    “Five young Australians, including members of First Nations and disability communities, have lodged three human rights complaints with the United Nations over what they claim is the Morrison government’s inaction on climate.

    The complainants – aged between 14 and 24 years old – argue that the Australian government’s 2030 emissions reduction target fails to uphold the rights of every young person in Australia.

    They claim the target is putting young First Nations people and people with disabilities at risk of acute harm from climate change.

    They filed the complaint just days before the Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow, where key allies, like the US and UK, will expect to see improvements to Australia’s emissions reduction targets….”.

    Like

  33. bit o/t – ch4 had a prog on tonight called – “Joe Lycett vs the oil giant Shell”

    just watched it & Joe is so “funny” (as all comedy seems to be these days (sarc)

    he did the usual at the end, with a message to shell on his handy iphone (*ick)

    Like

  34. didn’t take long for the reviews to come in – https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2021/oct/24/greta-thunberg-would-love-it-shells-investors-less-so-joe-lycett-vs-the-oil-giant-review

    “The comic and self-styled consumer champion turns his attention to the ‘eco-friendly’ face of the fossil fuel behemoth. Is he virtue signalling? Yes – but it’s hard not to be impressed”

    no, it’s hard to be impressed with virtue signalling well paid “comic” who has no clue what he is talking about.

    Like

  35. “Climate campaigners take South Africa to court over coal policy
    Civil society organisations’ lawsuit argues the country’s energy policy is incompatible with the constitution”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/19/climate-campaigners-take-south-africa-to-court-over-coal-policy

    “South Africa’s plan to build new coal-fired power stations during the climate crisis is being challenged in court for breaching the rights of current and future generations.

    Three civil society organisations have launched a constitutional lawsuit in the North Gauteng high court against the South African government, arguing that its energy policy is incompatible with the national constitution.

    Coal makes up about 80% of South Africa’s energy mix, and the government intends to add 1,500MW more over the next six years as part of its 2019 integrated resource plan.”

    Like

  36. “Activists take court action against Boris Johnson over climate crisis
    Three people claim government is breaching right to life and family life by not doing what is needed to prevent disaster”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/nov/25/young-activists-sue-boris-johnson-over-failure-to-tackle-climate-crisis

    “Three young people are taking legal action against the prime minister, accusing him of breaching his legal obligations to take “practical and effective measures” to tackle the climate crisis.

    In a high court hearing in London on Thursday, Adetola Onamade, 24, Jerry Amokwandoh, 22, and Marina Tricks, 20, claimed the government was breaching their rights under the Human Rights Act to life and to family life by failing to do what was necessary to avert environmental disaster.

    They argue that Boris Johnson’s government is discriminating against the younger generation and people in the global south who will bear the brunt of the climate crisis.

    Backed by the charity Plan B Earth, the hearing was an application to allow the case to go to a full hearing, with a judge expected to respond with a decision in the coming days.

    The environmental lawyer Tim Crosland of Plan B Earth told the court the three claimants’ case was “compelling, vital and deserves a fair hearing”.

    “The defendants know that climate change is an urgent threat to life. They know its impacts hit hardest for groups exposed to disproportionate and discriminatory risks, including the claimants. They know what needs to be done but they are not doing it,” he said.

    He added that the claim had been brought about because of the government’s failure to take the required action to meet statutory climate targets. “We have a credibility gap between words and action – that is at best neglect of the defendant’s most profound responsibilities and legal obligation for which this court should be ready to hold them to account.”

    Co-claimant Onamade said it was “cynical and condescending” for the defendants to suggest their motivations for bringing the case to court were “disingenuous” or that they were “being tokenised” as young people of African heritage.”

    Unless the legal world has gone mad, and I’m pretty confident that this nonsense will be thrown out before too long. No UK Prime Minister could “tackle the climate crisis”, even if there is one. It requires world-wide action, and most of the rest of the world is doing significantly less than the UK to reduce emissions.

    Like

  37. “Environmental activists challenge ‘unlawful’ UK fossil fuel plan in high court
    Climate campaigners claim the government is giving billions of pounds in subsidies to oil and gas producers”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/dec/04/environmental-activists-challenge-unlawful-uk-fossil-fuel-plan-in-high-court

    “Environmental campaigners will this week ask the high court to rule that the government’s fossil fuel strategy is unlawful, in a case that could undermine the UK’s claim to be leading the fight against climate change.

    The campaigners will argue that the government is effectively subsidising oil and gas production with billions of pounds in handouts, which conflicts with its legal duty to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

    Pressure group Paid to Pollute says oil and gas companies received billions of pounds in tax relief for new oil and gas exploration, and billions more towards decommissioning costs between 2016 and 2020. The group says this amounts to fossil fuel subsidies.

    “Public money is supporting businesses that contribute to the climate crisis instead of solving it,” said Kairin van Sweeden, one of three activists who will appear in court. “We have to challenge this deadly use of the public purse. If the Oil and Gas Authority won’t use common sense, perhaps it’ll listen to the courts.”

    …A government spokesperson said the UK did not pay any fossil fuel subsidies: “No other significant oil and gas-producing nation has gone as far as the UK in supporting the sector’s gradual transition to a low-carbon future, as demonstrated by our North Sea transition deal….”

    I wonder who is paying their legal fees, and why? The Paid to Pollute website can be found here:

    https://paidtopollute.org.uk/

    There is a narrative there about the three claimants. I love the biopic of Mikaela Loach:

    “As a current medical student and member of the Jamaican diaspora, I am hugely concerned about the impact of the climate crisis both today and in the future. When visiting family in Jamaica I have seen first-hand the impacts of the climate crisis on it – as a low lying, previously colonised nation. ”

    I’m not sure what is the relevance of “As a current medical student and member of the Jamaican diaspora” that should make her more concerned about climate change than someone who isn’t a medical student or a member of the Jamaican diaspora. I note that she flies backwards and forwards to Jamaica to visit her family. When I was her age I had never been in an aeroplane. She certainly has an immensely bigger carbon footprint than I did at her age, and I wouldn’t be surprised if her carbon footprint exceeds mine in total already.

    Like

  38. There have been no new developments here, so it’s not news, as such, but that doesn’t stop the BBC doing a big piece on it:

    “The teenagers and the nun trying to stop an Australian coal mine”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-59390798

    “When eight teenagers and an elderly nun in Australia teamed up for a climate case, they won, in a historic judgement. Their case has now been appealed by the country’s government. If the final verdict swings in their favour, it will have ramifications not just for Australian law but for climate cases world-wide.”

    Like

  39. “Campaigners lose court action over lawfulness of UK climate policies
    Plan B Earth group argued ministers had not taken ‘practical and effective’ steps to reduce emissions”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/dec/21/plan-b-earth-campaigners-lose-court-action-uk-climate-policies-

    “An environmental campaign group that challenged the lawfulness of the UK government’s climate policies has lost a high court fight.

    Plan B Earth argued that ministers had not taken “practical and effective” steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It wanted Mr Justice Bourne to give activists the go-ahead for a judicial review but he refused to grant permission.”

    No analysis of the Judge’s reasoning, just a long article explaining the activists’ point of view. Not so much news reporting as propaganda.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. “South Africa court blocks Shell’s oil exploration”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-59809821

    “A South African court has halted oil giant Shell’s seismic testing for oil and gas along the country’s eastern coastline, pending a final ruling.

    The decision has been hailed by environmentalists who fear that the sound blasting will harm marine life.

    Shell said it had “paused” operations while it reviewed the judgement.

    South Africa’s Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe had condemned the project’s critics, saying they wanted to deprive Africa of energy resources.”

    Perhaps the concerns for marine life is justified and the decision is a good one for the environment. But isn’t it strange that “environmentalists” only ever seem to have concerns for wildlife and the environment in connection with fossil fuel projects, rarely if ever with “renewables” projects, however harmful they may be?

    Like

  41. A 3-minute puff piece video from the BBC:

    “COP 26: The teenagers suing 33 countries”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/science-environment-59776108

    A group of children in Portugal are using human rights law to force European politicians to tackle climate change.

    After seeing the damage caused by wildfires in their home country of Portugal, André Oliviera, his sister Sofia and their friends are determined to make sure that leaders who pledged to reduce harmful emissions are forced to act.”

    Like

  42. “UK government sued over ‘pie-in-the-sky’ net-zero climate strategy
    ClientEarth and Friends of the Earth say strategy fails to include policies needed to ensure emissions cuts”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jan/12/net-zero-climate-strategy-uk-government-sued

    “The UK government is being sued over its net zero climate strategy, which lawyers argue illegally fails to include the policies needed to deliver the promised cuts in emissions.

    Court papers were filed on Wednesday by ClientEarth (CE) and, separately, by Friends of the Earth (FoE). CE also claims the failure to meet legal carbon budgets would contravene the Human Rights Act by impacting on young people’s right to life and family life….

    …Both CE and FoE argue that the Climate Change Act requires ministers to set out policies to meet carbon budgets “as soon as reasonably practicable” after they have been set. The assessment included in the net zero strategy shows UK emissions being double the level allowed in 2035 and also missing targets in 2025 and 2030.

    “A net zero strategy needs to include real-world policies that ensure it succeeds,” said lawyer Sam Hunter Jones at CE. “Anything less is a breach of the government’s legal duties and amounts to greenwashing and climate delay. The government’s pie-in-the-sky approach pushes the risk onto young people and future generations who stand to be hit hardest by the climate crisis.”

    The FoE action also claims that another government strategy, on heat and buildings, failed to assess its impact on groups protected in law, including children, people of colour and those with disabilities. FoE previously found that people of colour were twice as likely to be living in fuel poverty as white people….”.

    Like

  43. “groups protected in law, including children, people of colour and those with disabilities”
    can see “children and those with disabilities” probably, but “people of colour” ?

    Like

  44. “Climate Activists Lose Court Case against UK Oil and Gas Authority”

    https://www.oedigital.com/news/493582-climate-activists-lose-court-case-against-uk-oil-and-gas-authority

    “A UK High Court on Tuesday threw out a case brought by climate activists against the country’s oil and gas regulator OGA, rejecting their argument that the OGA’s actions amount to a type of unlawful subsidy of the fossil fuel sector.

    The ruling, seen by Reuters, is a setback for climate activists who are increasingly taking to the courts to force a reduction in oil and gas production in order to control global warming….

    …In the UK case, activists including a former oil refinery worker targeted the OGA’s assessment of applications for oil and gas field developments on a pre-tax basis, noting in some years if oil and gas prices were low the government actually returned money to producers rather than benefiting from tax receipts.

    This, they argue, is in conflict with both the government’s long-standing policy of “maximising economic recovery” of oil and gas in the British North Sea, meaning that oil and gas extraction there should make commercial sense, and with Britain’s 2050 net zero emissions goal.

    “I reject the contention that the strategy is unlawful because the definition of ‘economically recoverable’ was irrational. It follows that the claimants’ claim fails and is dismissed,” Judge Sara Cockerill said in the ruling document….

    …British energy and business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng and the OGA said they welcomed the ruling.

    “Turning off North Sea oil and gas overnight would put energy security, jobs and industries at risk – and make us even more dependent on foreign imports. This has to be a transition, not extinction,” Kwarteng said on Twitter.

    OGA lawyer Kate Gallafent had told the court in December the benefits of oil and gas extractions were “a lot wider” than tax revenues, pointing to energy security and jobs.”

    Like

  45. “Oil firms accused of scare tactics after claiming climate lawsuits ‘a threat to US’
    Attorneys for BP, Exxon and Shell claim city of Baltimore’s case over ‘deception and failure to warn’ could kill offshore drilling”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jan/25/climate-lawsuits-oil-firms-bp-exxon-shell

    “US oil firms have been accused of using scare tactics after telling a federal court on Tuesday that lawsuits alleging fossil fuel companies lied about the climate crisis could threaten America’s oil supply.

    At a closely watched appeals court hearing to decide whether a lawsuit by the city of Baltimore should be heard in state or federal court, an attorney for BP, Exxon, Shell and other energy firms painted the case as a threat to America’s energy independence.

    Kannon Shanmugam, representing the industry, told the court that if the city were to succeed in state court, and win billions of dollars in compensation, that could kill offshore drilling.

    “The relief that Baltimore seeks would deter, if not render entirely impractical, any further production on the outer continental shelf,” he said.

    Karen Sokol, a law professor at Loyola University who specialises in climate litigation, called the claim one of a number of “sterile scare tactics” deployed by the oil industry as it fights to move the Baltimore and other cases out of state jurisdictions, where consumer protection and other laws favour the plaintiffs, and in to federal courts where the fossil fuel companies believe they have the advantage.

    “It’s a scare tactic, which is telling the courts to back off, we’re a very powerful industry and we’re essential right now to energy security. If you step into this, you’re going to screw everything up,” she said.”

    It seems that only climate alarmists may legitimately indulge in scare tactics.

    Like

  46. “Granting of coal mining licence in south Wales faces court challenge
    Coal Action Network threatens legal action against decision to permit expansion of Aberpergwm site”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/feb/09/grant-coal-mining-licence-aberpergwm-south-wales-court-challenge

    “The UK and Welsh governments are facing a legal challenge over the recent decision to grant a new coal mining licence in south Wales.

    Legal representatives acting for the Coal Action Network have notified the Coal Authority and the devolved Welsh administration that the group plans to challenge the lawfulness of the decision to permit an expansion of the existing Aberpergwm site in the Neath Valley. Their pre-action letter sets a deadline of 14 February before the organisation will look to file for judicial review proceedings.”

    Inevitable, I suppose. There seems to be no shortage of funding to bring legal claims.

    Like

  47. “The environmental activists bringing the climate crisis to the courtroom
    Kieran Pender
    There’s a growing trend of climate litigation around the world. Here’s a look at the Australian cases likely to make headlines this year”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/feb/12/the-environmental-activists-bringing-the-climate-crisis-to-the-courtroom

    A climate duty of care?
    Environment Minister v Sharma

    Rising sea levels
    Pabai v Commonwealth

    Climate (in)action and human rights
    Youth Verdict v Waratah Coal

    Corporate greenwashing?
    Australasian Centre for Corporation Responsibility v Santos

    Failure to disclose climate risk
    O’Donnell v Commonwealth

    “The first climate case in Australia was brought in 1994, when Greenpeace challenged the construction of a coal-fired power station. In the subsequent decades, most climate litigation has been grounded in administrative law – challenging government decision-making that insufficiently mitigated or entirely ignored climate impact. It is only in recent years that improved science and continuing government and corporate inaction has prompted more creative climate lawyering, using tort law, corporate law, human rights law and beyond.

    That trend is set to continue. Last year, significant climate litigation cases were filed almost monthly; even more are anticipated this year. “

    Like

  48. Only climate alarmists should have successful access to the Courts, apparently:

    “Trump-appointed judge blocks Biden administration climate metric
    Judge bars higher cost estimate which puts a dollar value on damages caused by additional greenhouse gases emitted”

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/feb/12/trump-judge-biden-climate-metric-greenhouse-gases

    “A Trump-appointed federal judge has blocked the Biden administration’s attempt to put greater emphasis on potential damage from greenhouse gas emissions when creating rules for polluting industries.

    The move represents a blow to Joe Biden’s efforts to bring America more back in line with global efforts to fight the climate crisis after the Trump era, when the US largely turned its back on measures that might have helped limit emissions.

    It also shows the impact of Donald Trump’s judicial appointees, which were overwhelmingly conservative and will have impact far beyond Trump’s single term in office.

    US district judge James Cain of the western district of Louisiana sided with Republican attorneys general from energy producing states who said the administration’s action to raise the cost estimate of carbon emissions threatened to drive up energy costs while decreasing state revenues from energy production.

    The judge issued an injunction that bars the Biden administration from using the higher cost estimate, which puts a dollar value on damages caused by every additional ton of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere.

    Biden on his first day in office restored the climate cost estimate to about $51 a ton of carbon dioxide emissions after the Trump administration had reduced the figure to about $7 or less a ton. Trump’s estimate included only damages felt in the US versus the global damages captured in higher estimates that were previously used under the Obama administration….

    …Republican attorneys general led by Louisiana’s Jeff Landry said the Biden administration’s revival of the higher estimate was illegal and exceeded its authority by basing the figure on global considerations. The other states whose officials sued are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming.

    Landry’s office issued a statement calling Cain’s ruling “a major win for nearly every aspect of Louisiana’s economy and culture”.

    Friday’s ruling by Cain follows a ruling by another Louisiana judge last summer that struck down a separate Biden attempt to address greenhouse gas emissions by suspending new oil and gas leases on federal lands and water.

    The judge in that case, US district judge Terry Doughty, is also a Trump appointee.”

    Liked by 1 person

  49. Meanwhile, in the UK, note the much more positive reporting about Courts:

    “Windfarm off Norfolk coast gets second green light after court battle
    Government reapproves project, which could power 4m homes, after it was stalled by local concerns”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/feb/11/business-secretary-approves-vast-offshore-windfarm-norfolk-vanguard

    “A vast windfarm off the Norfolk coast has been approved by ministers for a second time after a local man convinced a high court judge to overturn the first decision a year ago.

    The high court verdict last February forced the government to reconsider the plans by the Swedish renewables firm Vattenfall to build two offshore windfarms capable of generating enough green electricity to power the equivalent of 4m UK homes.

    But on Friday Kwasi Kwarteng, the business secretary, reapproved the Norfolk Vanguard offshore windfarm, more than a year and a half after first giving the project the nod. His department approved the Norfolk Boreas windfarm, its sister project, at the end of last year.

    The projects were temporarily derailed last year after a legal challenge by a local resident, Raymond Pearce, raised concerns about the impact on the landscape and the view….

    …Conservationists also raised concerns about the safety of endangered birds in the area….”

    Local concerns? Landscape? Endangered birds? Who cares?

    Like

  50. This story (the one mentioned in the above comment) might run and run:

    “Norfolk wind farms offer ‘significant benefit’ for local economy”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-60393730

    “Two offshore wind farms capable of powering nearly four million homes are to be built off the Norfolk coast after the government re-approved plans. A college and energy group tells us they will provide a boost for the workforce and young people locally, but not everyone is happy.

    The Norfolk Vanguard and Norfolk Boreas projects could power 3.9 million homes, energy firm Vattenfall says, but plans for the former were temporarily called off after a High Court judge ruled against them.

    The government re-approved plans last week, but Raymond Pearce, who lives near Reepham in Norfolk, is one of those unhappy at the decision.

    He had started a legal challenge citing concerns about the effect the development would have on the landscape and the view.

    He argued that ministers had not taken into account the “cumulative impacts” of the project and had given “inadequate” reasons for not doing so….

    …Following the re-approval of the decision by the government, Mr Pearce says he is considering a new appeal over what he calls “a very poor decision”.

    He is also sceptical of claims the two new wind farms will bring the economic gains promised by Vattenfall.

    “It’s renewable energy at any cost and the cost here is to the environment in Norfolk,” he says.

    “I don’t blame them for being positive about it, it’s their industry but they’re not looking at it holistically.”

    He says he is not against renewable energy but thinks a better plan is needed to connect the offshore windfarms and minimise the number of cables and substations onshore.”

    Like

  51. More litigation not of the sort desired by climate campaigners:

    “Supreme court case could restrict Biden’s effort to tackle climate crisis
    Court to hear West Virginia case that takes aim at EPA’s ability to issue strict rules to curb pollution from fossil fuel power stations”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/feb/24/supreme-court-case-biden-climate-crisis

    “Joe Biden’s faltering effort to tackle the climate crisis faces a further, potentially devastating, blow on Monday in a supreme court case that experts warn could severely restrict any future US government attempt to limit planet-heating emissions.

    The court has agreed to hear a case brought by West Virginia, supported by 18 other Republican-led states, that takes aim at the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ability to issue strict regulations to curb pollution from fossil fuel-fired power stations.

    “The decision by the conservative-leaning court to even consider an argument about a hypothetical regulation that hasn’t been proposed by the EPA has surprised onlookers. It is also an ominous sign for the authority of a Biden administration already frustrated over major clean energy legislation that has stalled in Congress due to opposition from Republicans and centrist Democrats such as West Virginia senator Joe Manchin.

    “This is a vitally important case that will define future federal action on climate change issues,” said Judith Enck, former EPA regional administrator and president of Beyond Plastics. “Congress seems unwilling or unable to address the climate crisis. Federal agencies need to be able to take action.”

    Even if Biden and his allies in Congress are able to pass the climate elements of the Build Back Better Act, which includes hundreds of billions of dollars in support for wind and solar energy and electric cars, most analysts say executive action to slash pollution from power plants, cars and trucks will still be needed if the US is to meet its emissions reduction goals and avert disastrous climate change.

    West Virginia’a lawsuit, filed last year and supported by various fossil fuel firms and rightwing groups, argues that the EPA shouldn’t be able to issue rules that “are capable of reshaping the nation’s electricity grids and unilaterally decarbonizing virtually any sector of the economy” and claims that Congress alone should decide on regulation of this scope.”

    Like

  52. “Australia climate change: Court overturns teenagers’ case against minister”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-60745967

    “The Australian government has won an appeal against a ruling that it has a duty of care to protect children from harm caused by climate change.

    Last year, eight teenagers and an 87-year-old nun convinced a court that the government had a legal duty to children when assessing fossil fuel projects.

    The decision was hailed as a world first, but it has been successfully challenged by the environment minister.

    The teenagers could still take the case to Australia’s highest court.

    “Today’s ruling leaves us devastated, but it will not deter us in our flight for climate justice,” said 17-year-old Anjali Sharma, in a statement released by their lawyers.

    Their case attempted to stop the expansion of the Vickery coal mine in New South Wales, which is estimated to add an extra 170 million tonnes of fossil fuel emissions to the atmosphere.

    Three judges in the Federal Court of Australia unanimously sided with Environment Minister Sussan Ley on Tuesday, but their list of reasons differed….”.

    Like

  53. “Shell directors sued for ‘failing to prepare company for net zero’
    Environmental law organisation ClientEarth brings action and urges other shareholders to join”

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/mar/15/shell-directors-sued-net-zero-clientearth

    “The directors of Shell are being sued for failing to properly prepare the multinational oil and gas company for net zero.

    In what is thought to be a first-of-its-kind action, the lawsuit brought by activist shareholders claims that Shell’s 13 directors are personally liable for failing to devise a strategy in line with the Paris agreement, which aims to limit global heating to below 2C by slashing fossil fuel emissions.

    The lawsuit claims the failure puts the directors in breach of their duties under the UK’s Companies Act.

    If successful, Shell’s board could be forced by the courts to change its strategy, taking specific concrete steps to align its plan with the Paris deal. But if the claimants lose, they could be liable for the full costs of the case, including directors’ legal fees.

    ClientEarth, the environmental law organisation taking the action against Shell, said it was calling for other shareholders to join.”

    Like

  54. “Bristol Airport expansion decision to go to High Court”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-60748631

    “For campaigners, this is a fight for the future of the planet. But many of them are experienced lawyers, and they know they must win their battle in the dry, logical reasoning of the High Court.

    They can’t simply re-state their case that more flying means more climate change. They must persuade judges the planning inspectors made specific, legal mistakes in the way they made their decision.

    North Somerset Council’s lawyers have been through that decision, and didn’t see enough to overturn it.

    For councillors then, it is too much of a risk for local tax-payers money.

    And at the heart of this local planning decision, is a big national principle.

    Inspectors pointed out there is “no policy which seeks to limit airport expansion” nationally, and so to do so just at Bristol Airport would be unfair.

    Reversing that judgment will be hard, but the campaigners believe they can do it.”

    Like

  55. Mark – re “the Paris agreement”

    I am still confused if it was/is legally binding, so googled “paris climate agreement legally binding”
    and found a link to “The World Economic Forum” can’t give the link as I seem to be blocked every time I try lately!!!

    one quote from Legal scholar Daniel Brodansky at Arizona State University caught my attention –

    “Ultimately, legal bindingness reflects a state of mind…of officials who apply and interpret the law (judges, executive branch officials, and so forth), but also to some degree of the larger community that the law purports to govern,” he wrote shortly after the deal went into effect.

    The power of the Paris Agreement, in other words, relies on a fluid agreement about the consequences for violating an international agreement, one not precisely defined.”It depends on what the British philosopher H.L.A. Hart referred to as their ‘internal point of view’,” Brodansky added, “a sense that a rule constitutes a legal obligation and that compliance is therefore required rather than merely optional.”

    and after reading the whole link I’m none the wiser !!!

    Like

  56. dfhunter,

    As luck would have it, today is the anniversary of the appearance of my debut article here:

    A Lot of Hot Air

    It’s all about the Paris Agreement, and as I point out in it, the Agreement has no binding obligations and no enforcement mechanism, so is unenforceable.

    Like

  57. “Legal eagles: how climate litigation is shaping ambitious cases for nature
    Environmental lawsuits are nothing new but now lawyers are turning their attention to cases that address the loss of biodiversity”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/mar/16/climate-litigation-lisbon-wetlands-aoe

    An interesting article, and a pointer to what to expect down the line. But when it comes to biodiversity, environmentally damaging “renewables” projects never seem to be in their sights.

    Like

  58. Mark – Thanks for the link back your “debut article” – was it only a year ago you started !!! happy anniversary & thanks for your posts,wit & interesting comments.

    remember the “debut article” from you, now you reminded me.

    at the time it chimed with my understanding re “the Paris Agreement” – as per your quote above “the Agreement has no binding obligations and no enforcement mechanism, so is unenforceable.”

    so why are ClientEarth backing the lawsuit brought by activist shareholders claims that Shell’s 13 directors are personally liable for failing to devise a strategy in line with the Paris agreement ?

    I notice they add – “The lawsuit claims the failure puts the directors in breach of their duties under the UK’s Companies Act.”

    Like

  59. ps – googled “UK’s Companies Act” – and no way I could wade through it 😦

    Like

  60. dfhunter,

    I am as mystified as you are, as regards ClientEarth’s (and others’) claims against the directors of Shell. Shareholders can always seek to bring directors of their company (after all, shareholders are part-owners) to book, but to do so, they have to be in breach of some legal duty, and like you, I don’t see it in this scenario.

    I shall continue to watch this space, and hope that more is revealed in due course.

    Don’t even try to read the Companies Act. I studied it for a term at University, worked with it in practice over about 20 years, and still was far from understanding everything there is to know about it. And, blast it, they’ve gone and passed a new one since then!

    Like

  61. ahh – after following your links – https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/mar/15/shell-directors-sued-net-zero-clientearth

    “ClientEarth has said it is taking the action against Shell in the company’s best interests. Their claim says the board has failed to properly account for the risks climate change poses to the company. Under the Companies Act, directors are legally bound to act in a way that promotes the company’s success and to exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence.”

    Like

  62. “Fossil fuels v our future: young Montanans wage historic climate fight”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/apr/13/young-people-montana-fossil-fuels-climate-crisis

    “…Held v State of Montana, argues that state lawmakers have prioritized the business interests of the fossil fuel industry over their future. When their case is heard next February, it will be the first in a wave of youth-led climate lawsuits to successfully go to trial. Experts say a decision in favor of the 16 youth plaintiffs could have sweeping implications across the country, setting guard rails for how politicians are able to protect the interests of extractive corporations.

    “The world is literally burning all around them, and nothing’s being done about it,” said Nate Bellinger, a senior staff attorney with Our Children’s Trust, the non-profit law firm that is representing the youth plaintiffs. “Not only is the state not doing enough, but the state is continuing to affirmatively promote the fossil fuel industry and development.”…”.

    Like

  63. “First Nations challenge over approval of Clive Palmer’s coalmine begins in Queensland
    Case centres on whether proposed Galilee Coal Project would harm climate and limit human rights”

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/apr/26/first-nations-challenge-over-approval-of-clive-palmers-coalmine-begins-in-queensland

    “The proposal of a company owned by Clive Palmer to dig Australia’s largest thermal coalmine in central Queensland is “an attempt at financial gain” that comes with “an obscenely high cost” for future generations, a group challenging the mine’s approval in a landmark climate and human rights challenge has told court.

    The case, which began in the Queensland land court on Tuesday, has been brought by a group of young people, Youth Verdict, and is led by its First Nations members.

    The group argues that the Galilee Coal Project proposed by Palmer’s company, Waratah Coal, would cause environmental harm by contributing to global climate change, and in the process limit the cultural rights of First Nations Queenslanders to maintain their distinctive relationships with the land, the court heard.”

    Like

  64. “Who owns the Arctic and should they drill for oil and gas?”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-61222653

    “A court case is under way over whether energy companies have the right to drill for gas and oil in the Arctic region.

    Environmental activists, led by Greenpeace Nordic, are taking Norway’s government to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

    It’s being seen as a test case for how far the Arctic environment can be protected….

    …Since 2016 Norway – Western Europe’s largest oil producer – has granted a number of licences to explore for oil and gas in the Barents Sea, inside the Arctic Circle.

    In 2021, six young Norwegians and two environmental groups, Greenpeace Nordic and Young Friends of the Earth, brought a case to the ECHR against the Norwegian government’s policy.

    The activists said in their statement that “by allowing new drilling in a climate crisis, Norway is in breach of fundamental human rights”.

    The campaigners’ case cites Article 2 of the European Convention of Human Rights, which protects the right to life, and Article 8, which protects the right to a family life and home.

    “By complaining,” said campaigner Mia Chamberlain, “we might have a chance of stopping this catastrophic oil drilling.”

    Lasse Eriksen Bjoern, an activist from the indigenous Sami people of northern Norway, told Reuters that drilling and the threat of pollution could endanger their way of life.

    Three Norwegian courts rejected their case, but the ECHR is taking it seriously. It says the case, which the activists have billed “the people versus Arctic oil”, could be an “impact case”, meaning it could set a wide precedent for environmental protection throughout Europe….”.

    Like

  65. “Climate group sues Dutch airline KLM over ‘greenwashing’ adverts
    ‘Fly Responsibly’ adverts mislead customers on the sustainability of flying with KLM, say campaigners”

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/may/24/climate-group-sues-dutch-airline-klm-over-adverts

    “Environmental campaigners are suing the Dutch airline KLM over “greenwashing” adverts they say misleadingly promote the sustainability of flying.

    Lawyers from ClientEarth are supporting Fossielvrij NL, a Netherlands-based campaign group, to bring a claim that KLM’s ad campaigns give a false impression of the sustainability of its flights and its plans to address its impact on the climate.

    “KLM’s marketing misleads consumers into believing that its flights won’t worsen the climate emergency. But this is a myth,” said Hiske Arts, a campaigner at Fossielvrij NL.

    “Unchecked flying is one of the fastest ways to heat up the planet. Customers need to be informed and protected from claims that suggest otherwise.”

    Activists from Fossielvrij NL submitted a pre-action letter to Air France KLM, KLM’s parent company, during its AGM in Paris on Tuesday. Their legal action takes aim at KLM’s “Fly Responsibly” campaign, which presents the airline as “creating a more sustainable future”.

    KLM’s campaign says it is on track to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and that it plans to introduce hydrogen and electric planes and scale up the use of synthetic kerosene from 2035.”

    Like

  66. “Exxon must go to trial over alleged climate crimes, court rules
    The ruling, and another crucial court decision this week, will force the company to face charges it lied about global heating”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/may/24/exxon-trial-climate-crimes-fossil-fuels-global-heating

    “The Massachusetts high court on Tuesday ruled that the US’s largest oil company, ExxonMobil, must face a trial over accusations that it lied about the climate crisis and covered up the fossil fuel industry’s role in worsening environmental devastation.

    Exxon claimed the case brought by the Massachusetts attorney general, Maura Healey, was politically motived and amounted to an attempt to prevent the company from exercising its free speech rights. But the state’s supreme judicial court unanimously dismissed the claim in the latest blow to the oil industry’s attempts to head off a wave of lawsuits across the country over its part in causing global heating.

    Healey’s lawsuit accuses Exxon of breaking the state’s consumer protection laws with a decades-long cover-up of what it knew about the impact on the climate of burning fossil fuels. The state also says the company deceived investors about the risks to its business posed by global heating.

    Exxon claimed the lawsuit was in breach of legislation against what are known as strategic lawsuits against public participation, or Slapps, used by wealthy individuals and corporations to silence critics. The Massachusetts court ruled that anti-Slapp laws do not apply to government cases.

    Healey, who is running for governor, hailed the ruling as “a resounding victory in our work to stop Exxon from lying to investors and consumers in our state”.

    In March, a federal court also refused to put a block on the state’s legal action and ruled that Exxon was obliged to turn over documents to investigators.

    The oil industry suffered another defeat on Monday when a federal appeals court ruled that a lawsuit by Rhode Island against 21 fossil fuel companies, including Exxon, BP and Shell, can go ahead in state court. Fossil fuel companies are attempting to move cases into what they regard as the more friendly forum of federal courts.”

    Like

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