As part of Petroleum Economist Outlook 2022 publication, Mark Clarke (Partner, London) and Katherine Daley (Associate, London) have authored the chapter 'Climate change disputes: The rise of rights-based claims', discussing the dramatic rise in climate change-related legal claims as a result of the growing global urgency to take climate change.
Historically, climate change litigation largely involved claims for damages against large oil and gas companies, principally on the basis that these companies produce and distribute products that are directly related to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, these claims have struggled to succeed owing to the complexity of the energy sector, where a myriad of supply chains and consumer choices make it difficult for claimants to establish a direct causal link between the alleged harm and a specific company's GHG emissions. Consequently, claimants have sought to increase the scope of climate change litigation by bringing claims for relief other than damages, and based on alternative causes of action which do not require them to evidence the chain of causation between the defendant's GHG emissions and the specific climate-related injury that is being alleged.
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