Climate Change – UK Damages Claims? - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Climate Change – UK Damages Claims?

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  1. Climate Change – UK Damages Claims? John Meltzer Lovells LLP

  2. Climate Change – UK Damages Claims?

  3. Climate Change – UK Damages Claims? • Threefold test for establishing duty of care • Was the loss forseeable? • Is there sufficient proximity between the parties? • Is it fair, just and reasonable in all the circumstances to impose a duty? (Caparo Industries v Dickman)

  4. Climate Change – UK Damages Claims? • Three different types of proximity • Physical proximity between the claimant and defendant • Special relationship eg employer/employee or product manufacturer/consumer • Directness of the causal connection between the defendant and the loss (Dean J in Southern Shire Council v Heyman)

  5. Climate Change – UK Damages Claims? • "Here the essential touchstones of proximity are missing. BGS had no "control over" or "responsibility for" the provision of safe drinking water to the citizens of Bangladesh ... Moreover … unlike the comparatively narrow classes of potential Claimants in other cases … the class of potential Claimants here … is the entire population of Bangladesh…". (Brown LJ, Sutradhar v Natural Environment Research Council)

  6. Climate Change – UK Damages Claims?Causation Global warming Local weather events Individual damage Individual greenhouse emissions

  7. Climate Change – UK Damages Claims? • "Without in any way expressing an opinion on the merits of the plaintiffs' claims against these defendants, I will observe that there exists a sharp difference of opinion in the scientific community concerning the causes of global warming, and I foresee daunting evidentiary problems for anyone who undertakes to prove, by preponderance of the evidence, the degree to which global warming is caused by the emission of greenhouse gases; the degree to which the actions of any individual oil company, any individual chemical company, or the collective action of these corporations contribute, through the emission of greenhouse gases, to global warming; and the extent to which the emission of greenhouse gasses by these defendants, through the phenomenon of global warming, intensified or otherwise affected the weather system that produced Hurricane Katrina.". (Judge L Senter JR, Comer v Nationwide Mutual)