Climate change litigation: is your business prepared?

  • The number of climate change cases worldwide is increasing.
  • While few cases have been successful, there may be increasing pressure on companies to accept responsibility for activities which contribute to climate change from parties who bear the costs of addressing the impacts of climate change.
  • The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures has recommended that disclosure of climate-related risks should be integrated with existing financial reporting frameworks and has developed a voluntary reporting framework.

Law scales made from smoking chimney stack

Climate change litigation is becoming increasingly prevalent and has the potential to substantially disrupt business activities or operations, with subsequent cost implications. Accordingly, it is not surprising that businesses have considered stepping up their efforts to understand, assess and minimise their exposure to risks associated with climate change related legal action.

The number of climate change cases filed has increased substantially in recent years. To date, approximately 1,154 climate change cases have been filed worldwide.1 The majority of climate change litigation has occurred in the United States (US), followed by Australia, the United Kingdom (UK), the European Union, New Zealand, Canada and Spain.2

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