Can Fossil Fuel Companies Be Held Liable for Climate Change?
After 15 years of climate change litigation, the question of whether anybody can be held legally liable for the adverse impacts of climate change remains unanswered. However, the Trump administration’s effort to roll back climate regulation in the United States; the devastation caused by Hurricanes Maria, Irma and Harvey; developments in the science of climate change attribution; and a handful of recent lawsuits filed by cities and counties in California have put the question front and center. This panel discussion will look at one particular set of defendants – companies involved in the extraction, production and marketing of fossil fuels. Panelists will summarize the current state of attribution science, and present core legal arguments for and against liability.
Michael Burger, Executive Director, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law