Baltimore is latest city to file climate lawsuit against major oil companies

23 Juillet, 2018, 15:26 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • Image credit @BKMovie2018/Twitter

The litigation by Baltimore, wrapped around a cove of the Chesapeake Bay, comes as skeptical judges elsewhere have been throwing out headline-generating complaints brought by other cities that sought to force Big Oil companies to pay for climate change adaptation.

Baltimore on Friday become the latest US city to try and hold the world's biggest oil companies financially responsible for global warming, asserting it faces massive costs to effectively protect its residents, businesses and infrastructure from the escalating impacts of climate change.

Baltimore, Maryland on Friday became the latest city to file suit against major oil and gas companies, aiming to hold them accountable for the "potentially catastrophic" damage that the global climate crisis-which is largely the result of burning fossil fuels-is increasingly inflicting on coastal communities the world over. The city's Inner Harbor, a tourist hub and a key economic driver for Baltimore, faces frequent flooding even without storms of that size.

It says that the Baltimore area has suffered two 1,000-year storms within three years.

On Thursday, a USA judge rejected New York City's lawsuit targeting oil companies, saying the issue must be addressed by Congress and the executive branch.

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Rhode Island's lawsuit filed earlier this month remains in state court, though the time period for the many defendants to remove it to federal court has not expired. San Francisco and Oakland also had their cases thrown out of U.S. District Court. "Baltimore's residents, workers, and businesses shouldn't have to pay for the damage knowingly caused by these companies".

"Defendants have known for almost 50 years that greenhouse gas pollution from their fossil fuel products has a significant impact on the Earth's climate and sea levels", the complaint said.

Mayor Catherine Pugh asserts the fossil fuel industry has spent billions to "deceive, delay, distract and attack those who try to hold them accountable for their role in causing climate change".

"In fact, they had a responsibility to do both, but they didn't, and that's why we are taking them to court", Davis added. The firm will serve as co-counsel and will receive no city funds, Davis said.

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