(Reuters) – A landmark decision on Wednesday by a Dutch court ordering the Royal Dutch Shell to drastically reduce its planned greenhouse gas emissions could affect the United States, where most of the world's climate issues are raised.
Approximately 1,375 lawsuits seeking relief from climate change have been filed in U.S. courts, compared with about 425 in other countries, according to the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School.
The following is a summary of how disputes over the most important cases play across the United States:
About two dozen lawsuits have been filed by local governments and states that have accused major oil and gas companies of contributing to the effects of global warming. by selling fossil fuels whose combustion generates greenhouse gases.
States that have sued these companies include Rhode Island, Delaware and Connecticut. BP PLC, Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. The companies deny the allegations and say that the suits do nothing to address the challenge of climate change.
The complainants seek monetary damages to pay for sea walls and other infrastructure to protect against extreme weather and rising sea levels caused by climate change.
In April, New York City lost a lawsuit in a federal appeals court. It tried to hold five major oil companies responsible for global warming. The judge said that the risk of "stepping on the toes of the political branches" excludes, among other things, the city's suit.
A handful of lawsuits, including by the District of Columbia and the state of Minnesota, claim that oil and gas companies. has misled the public by deliberately downplaying the threat of climate change.
In a securities case, investors said Exxon Mobil Corp. and its executives failed to account for the climate impact on their operations and made public statements and financial statements that caused the stock price to fall. Exxon has said the allegations are unfounded.
A group of young Americans who are suing the federal government for actions they say are contributing to climate change are in conciliation talks with the Biden administration.
A handful of lawsuits from environmental activists accuse oil and gas companies of failing to protect coastal fuel terminals in Rhode Island and Massachusetts against the risks of flooding caused by sea level rise.
Cases outside the United States
In France, local authorities and activists including the Fondation pour la Nature et l & # 39; Homme and Greenpeace France asked a court to ask Total to recognize the climate risks generated by its activities and make its strategy consistent with the goal of limiting global warming to 1
In Britain, Friends of the Earth brought an action against the government's decision to provide $ 1 billion in funding to support a liquefied natural gas development in Mozambique on the basis of by Br the commitment to the Paris climate agreement. The Supreme Court granted the friends of the earth permission to proceed with the case.
In Estonia, Fridays for the Future of Young Climate Activists tried to invalidate a permit issued to the state energy group Eesti Energia for the construction of a new shale oil plan. Although the court allowed the complaint, it denied a preliminary injunction to stop the plant.
In Canada, environmental organizations including WWF Canada brought legal action against the Government for offshore oil and gas exploration off Newfoundland and Labrador, alleging such activities. endangers the country's climate commitments. A federal court in Ottawa denied the government's proposal to dismiss the case.