Loss and damage (L&D) due to climate change impacts is already a reality for many people, especially the most vulnerable. So far, there is no prospect of sufficient financial support for dealing with actual L&D within the climate regime (UNFCCC). Where international climate diplomacy doesn’t advance, affected people start to take the legal avenue to address the problem of L&D. Based on this assessment, this paper analyses the status quo of international climate change litigation, revealing how the current court cases are turning an abstract risk of climate claims into a concrete one.
Resultant risks for fossil fuel industry directors, boards, regulators, investors, shareholders, and insurers are outlined – underlining that it is high time for companies and the financial system to consider the concrete litigation risks in their current activities and decisions. The paper concludes that the climate change lawsuits increase the pressure to reach political solutions for addressing L&D as it cannot be of interest that each individual major polluters is brought to justice. Insurance schemes could be operationalized to involve polluters in dealing with the costs of L&D.
Overview – Climate change litigation as a call for political solutions to address L&D and the role of climate risk insurance
Laura Schäfer, Vera Künzel and Christoph Bals