Climate Lawsuits Against Companies Increase Sharply

Image credit: Thom Bridge/AP

More companies are facing lawsuits over climate issues worldwide, with most cases ending favorably for those who filed them. According to a recent report by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, about 230 lawsuits have been filed against corporations and trade groups since 2015, with two-thirds of them starting since 2020.

One major area of concern is “climate-washing,” where companies are accused of misleading claims about their environmental efforts. In 2023 alone, there were 47 such cases filed against companies and governments. Out of 140 cases reviewed from 2016 to 2023, more than half ended with judgments favoring the plaintiffs.

Another focus is the “polluter pays” principle, holding companies accountable for climate damage caused by high greenhouse gas emissions. In 2023, over 30 cases centered on this issue, with additional cases challenging financial support hindering climate goals.

The US led the charge in climate lawsuits with 129 cases in 2023, followed by the UK with 24 and Brazil with 10. Panama and Portugal joined the list of countries filing climate cases in 2023, bringing the total to 55 countries involved. There’s a growing number of cases from the global south, making up about 8% of all cases.

While most climate lawsuits used to target governments, there’s been a rise in cases against companies globally. Outside the US, 40% of cases targeted companies, compared to 15% domestically.

The impact of these lawsuits varies. They’ve influenced climate policies and government actions significantly, but their long-term effect on corporate behavior is still uncertain. Experts emphasize that while lawsuits have boosted accountability and action on climate change, their full impact on corporate practices is still evolving.

Recent notable cases include a Montana court ruling in favor of young residents’ rights to a clean environment against state-backed fossil fuel promotion. The UK Supreme Court also made a landmark decision requiring emissions impacts to be considered in planning new extraction projects.

More companies are facing lawsuits over climate issues worldwide, with most cases ending favorably for those who filed them. According to a recent report by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, about 230 lawsuits have been filed against corporations and trade groups since 2015, with two-thirds of them starting since 2020.

One major area of concern is “climate-washing,” where companies are accused of misleading claims about their environmental efforts. In 2023 alone, there were 47 such cases filed against companies and governments. Out of 140 cases reviewed from 2016 to 2023, more than half ended with judgments favoring the plaintiffs.

Another focus is the “polluter pays” principle, holding companies accountable for climate damage caused by high greenhouse gas emissions. In 2023, over 30 cases centered on this issue, with additional cases challenging financial support hindering climate goals.

The US led the charge in climate lawsuits with 129 cases in 2023, followed by the UK with 24 and Brazil with 10. Panama and Portugal joined the list of countries filing climate cases in 2023, bringing the total to 55 countries involved. There’s a growing number of cases from the global south, making up about 8% of all cases.

While most climate lawsuits used to target governments, there’s been a rise in cases against companies globally. Outside the US, 40% of cases targeted companies, compared to 15% domestically.

The impact of these lawsuits varies. They’ve influenced climate policies and government actions significantly, but their long-term effect on corporate behavior is still uncertain. Experts emphasize that while lawsuits have boosted accountability and action on climate change, their full impact on corporate practices is still evolving.

Recent notable cases include a Montana court ruling in favor of young residents’ rights to a clean environment against state-backed fossil fuel promotion. The UK Supreme Court also made a landmark decision requiring emissions impacts to be considered in planning new extraction projects.

Overall, climate lawsuits are becoming a crucial tool in pushing for climate accountability and changing corporate practices worldwide, affecting financial markets and regulatory frameworks alike.

Re-reported from the article originally published in THE GUARDIAN.

Climate Lawsuits Against Companies Increase Sharply

Image credit: Thom Bridge/AP

More companies are facing lawsuits over climate issues worldwide, with most cases ending favorably for those who filed them. According to a recent report by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, about 230 lawsuits have been filed against corporations and trade groups since 2015, with two-thirds of them starting since 2020.

One major area of concern is “climate-washing,” where companies are accused of misleading claims about their environmental efforts. In 2023 alone, there were 47 such cases filed against companies and governments. Out of 140 cases reviewed from 2016 to 2023, more than half ended with judgments favoring the plaintiffs.

Another focus is the “polluter pays” principle, holding companies accountable for climate damage caused by high greenhouse gas emissions. In 2023, over 30 cases centered on this issue, with additional cases challenging financial support hindering climate goals.

The US led the charge in climate lawsuits with 129 cases in 2023, followed by the UK with 24 and Brazil with 10. Panama and Portugal joined the list of countries filing climate cases in 2023, bringing the total to 55 countries involved. There’s a growing number of cases from the global south, making up about 8% of all cases.

While most climate lawsuits used to target governments, there’s been a rise in cases against companies globally. Outside the US, 40% of cases targeted companies, compared to 15% domestically.

The impact of these lawsuits varies. They’ve influenced climate policies and government actions significantly, but their long-term effect on corporate behavior is still uncertain. Experts emphasize that while lawsuits have boosted accountability and action on climate change, their full impact on corporate practices is still evolving.

Recent notable cases include a Montana court ruling in favor of young residents’ rights to a clean environment against state-backed fossil fuel promotion. The UK Supreme Court also made a landmark decision requiring emissions impacts to be considered in planning new extraction projects.

More companies are facing lawsuits over climate issues worldwide, with most cases ending favorably for those who filed them. According to a recent report by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, about 230 lawsuits have been filed against corporations and trade groups since 2015, with two-thirds of them starting since 2020.

One major area of concern is “climate-washing,” where companies are accused of misleading claims about their environmental efforts. In 2023 alone, there were 47 such cases filed against companies and governments. Out of 140 cases reviewed from 2016 to 2023, more than half ended with judgments favoring the plaintiffs.

Another focus is the “polluter pays” principle, holding companies accountable for climate damage caused by high greenhouse gas emissions. In 2023, over 30 cases centered on this issue, with additional cases challenging financial support hindering climate goals.

The US led the charge in climate lawsuits with 129 cases in 2023, followed by the UK with 24 and Brazil with 10. Panama and Portugal joined the list of countries filing climate cases in 2023, bringing the total to 55 countries involved. There’s a growing number of cases from the global south, making up about 8% of all cases.

While most climate lawsuits used to target governments, there’s been a rise in cases against companies globally. Outside the US, 40% of cases targeted companies, compared to 15% domestically.

The impact of these lawsuits varies. They’ve influenced climate policies and government actions significantly, but their long-term effect on corporate behavior is still uncertain. Experts emphasize that while lawsuits have boosted accountability and action on climate change, their full impact on corporate practices is still evolving.

Recent notable cases include a Montana court ruling in favor of young residents’ rights to a clean environment against state-backed fossil fuel promotion. The UK Supreme Court also made a landmark decision requiring emissions impacts to be considered in planning new extraction projects.

Overall, climate lawsuits are becoming a crucial tool in pushing for climate accountability and changing corporate practices worldwide, affecting financial markets and regulatory frameworks alike.

Re-reported from the article originally published in THE GUARDIAN.