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Climate Reparations: Companies to be liable for emissions ‘harm’ ‘going back to the 1800s’

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Speaking at the American Constitution Society, leading climate change trial lawyer Matthew Pawa says that heat waves, melting snow pack, and loss of glaciers is harming human health and that people and states will want compensation. Pawa states that thanks to new peer reviewed literature, climate change litigators can now “demonstrate how much of the carbon dioxide and methane from the combustion of fossil fuels in the atmosphere is attributable” to any particular fossil fuel company “going back to the 1800’s.”

Matthew Pawa is on the Board of Trustees of the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL).

MATTHEW PAWA: “Global warming litigation is coming to a court room near you. […] Damages and injuries are piling up — heat waves, melting snow pack, loss of glaciers. These are things with severe economic consequences and harms to human health and well being, and people will want compensation, and states of various sorts will want compensation for the harms. We also have the benefit of the peer reviewed published article by Richard Heede, H-E-E-D-E, who has demonstrated how much of the carbon dioxide and methane from the combustion of fossil fuels in the atmosphere is attributable to Exxon, and Chevron, and other particular companies going back to the 1800’s. And, so there is an ability to attribute portions of harm to specific companies now based on peer reviewed literature. […]

And, you can’t do to the planet what these companies have done and what Exxon in particular as the ringleader has done. With the kind of foreknowledge they had and think you’re going to get away with it in America, cause it ain’t gonna happen. […] Tort cases are out there waiting in the wings and, you know, every time there is, you know, a heat wave that kills people or every time, you know, a state is running out of water the question comes to the fork, and it’s really only a matter of time before those cases are filed.”

Combating Climate Change in the Courts
American Constitution Society
February 10, 2016

8 COMMENTS

  1. That would be awesome! I’d love to see these liars put on the witness stand under oath! “sir you claim in your peer reviewed paper irreparable harm to gaia, just who were the reviewers? Are they friends of your? Do you work together or did you attend school with them? Do you have a testable hypothesis? Or is it just computer modeling where you input all of your own data? Yes please bring on the lawyers!

    • Businesses are already looking at this situation and don’t want the expense and publicity of litigation.

      Time for them to look elsewhere or go out of business.

      Perhaps the citizens should take a look at what is happening in the Congress and the Senate which is at the least giving tacit support to those who want to sue the U.S. out of business.

      • So the EPA’s classification of CO2 as a pollutant in 2009 renders companies liable for the ‘costs’ of their CO2 emissions going back 200 years previously. This raises “ex post facto law” to a whole new height. And I would be willing to bet that, should Mr. Heede attempt to press cases in this regard that Exxon, Chevron, et al. are going to make him intimately familiar with the term “vexatious litigant” and countersue.

  2. First these thieves need to prove that there has been some harm from CO2 emissions. Unless there has been some late breaking revelation the world has yet to see, there is no evidence to support their ridiculous claim.
    Just a bunch of bloody ambulance chasers trying to scam the system yet again.

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  3. I wonder what gender ‘pawa’ is? The burden of proof is going to be a very high mountain to climb. What kind of control experiment did you run with the open atmosphere to separate natural variation from what is? Who is liable for the environmental damage from WWI and WWII?
    This is the kind of fraud, blood-sucking ambulance chasers live for. Start counter-suing them for damages.

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