Climate Lawsuits Against Companies Continue to Rise

( – There has been a steady increase in the number of climate lawsuits filed against companies around the world. Over two hundred climate-focused lawsuits have been filed against corporations and trade associations for almost a decade, but two-thirds of these cases have been initiated in just the last four years.

One of the main factors that these lawsuits are covering is “climate-washing” which is when companies are accused of misinterpreting or lying in regards to their progress toward certain environmental targets. The analysis found that almost fifty of these cases have been filed just last year.

Climate communications and the stress around changing habits within companies and businesses have led to multiple lawsuits. Records have shown that lawsuits for climate-washing have also been successful. The United States has accounted for most of these litigations that were filed, with almost one hundred and thirty cases. The United Kingdom was in second place with over twenty cases, and Brazil was in third place with ten cases.

Climate litigation cases were first filed in Panama and Portugal last year and since then, over fifty countries have filed some sort of climate lawsuit.

Andy Raine, the head of international environment law at Unep, said, “Climate litigation has become an undeniably significant trend in how stakeholders are seeking to advance climate action and accountability.”

One of the most prominent cases of the last year was in Montana where a judge ruled in favor of Montana residents who stated that state officials infringed on their right to a clean and healthy environment by promoting fossil fuels in the area.

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