Expert elicitation on climate change related litigation risks: issues and implications
This paper provides a general overview of climate litigation risks in the US and Europe; considers the main legal issues and implications that arise for various actors; and makes recommendations. The paper is based on an online survey of legal and insurance experts conducted by Germanwatch in October 2009 which found that an increase in claims for damages directly and indirectly related to climate change is expected over the next few years.
One of the main impacts on the insurance sector will be through comprehensive or commercial general liability insurance under which the insurer agrees to indemnify the policyholder who is sued for damages for causing property damage, and to defend legal actions for such damages. Already one US insurer has brought a legal action against a defendant in a climate damages case, seeking to avoid the latter a duty.