Dana is an environmental journalist focusing on climate change reporting. She writes regularly for DeSmog and Climate Liability News, covering clean transportation, fossil fuel industry opposition to climate action, and climate change lawsuits. In 2017 Dana completed a Master's degree in Environmental Law & Policy with a certificate in Climate Law from Vermont Law School. Prior to attending VLS she worked as a reporter at several weekly newspapers and as a freelance environmental journalist. She has also interned at the Worldwatch Institute, Vermont Natural Resources Council, Schumacher Center for a New Economics, Center for EcoTechnology, EcoLogic Development Fund, OurEarth.org, and YES! Magazine.
At a time when both the media and the environment are under attack by the Trump administration, and when the market for environmental journalism is dwindling, Dana is determined to use her sharp writing and reporting skills and her knowledge of environmental issues to defy "alternative facts" and keep the public informed. Topics of specialization include climate change, clean energy, and citizen activism.
During her Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday, October 13, Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett trotted out a tired and dismissive refrain from climate deniers, saying, "I'm certainly not a scientist" when Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) asked specifically about her views on climate change.
Hawaii's Maui County filed a liability claim against 20 fossil fuel firms on Monday, joining 23 other U.S. communities suing to hold the fossil fuel industry accountable for their role in delaying action on climate change. Maui is the third community in Hawaii to file such a suit.
U.S. oil majors like Exxon and Chevron are failing to grapple with the energy sector's transition away from polluting fossil fuels and refusing to disclose potential risks to their portfolios from assets that may become "stranded," or uneconomical to develop, in a low-carbon world, new research from
September saw a flurry of new lawsuits filed by cities and states against major fossil fuel companies over the climate crisis and the resulting impacts that are already being felt. After Hoboken, New Jersey sued Big Oil and its largest trade association, the American Petroleum Institute, on
Nearly a year ago, the city of Palo Alto - home to Stanford University and the unofficial capital of Silicon Valley - joined a handful of other California cities in enacting an all-electric building mandate.
The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to intervene in a climate liability lawsuit brought against 26 fossil fuel companies by Baltimore, which seeks to hold them responsible for the substantial costs of grappling with the heavy impacts of climate change.
With lawsuits against major fossil fuel producers over climate damages on the rise, a new report and initiative examines how prestigious law firms are enabling climate breakdown. The student-led initiative, Law Students for Climate Accountability, calls for holding the legal industry accountable for
Earlier this year a pair of judges on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided to dismiss the groundbreaking American youth climate change lawsuit Juliana v. United States. But the case is not yet over - while the 21 young people who sued the U.S.
On Wednesday, September 23, several members of Congress introduced a resolution in both houses that supports the principles and demands of the 21 youth suing the U.S. government in the landmark constitutional climate case Juliana v. United States. Titled the "Children's Fundamental Rights and
The White House has made a pair of controversial appointments to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), positioning within the climate science agency two individuals who consistently misrepresent and disagree with the scientific consensus on various issues concerning climate
As rampant wildfires worsened by climate change continued to batter the western U.S. this week, a Washington state appeals court examined the question of whether young people should be allowed to sue their state government over the climate crisis. The hearing, held Thursday, September 17, is part of
As Pennsylvania took a significant step this week towards joining a regional climate initiative to curb carbon pollution from power plants, newly revealed email records show how fossil fuel interests campaigned to oppose this initiative in a state that has the fifth most polluting electric power
The standard, pre-operational testing of a new natural gas compressor station in the Massachusetts community of Weymouth, south of Boston, had barely begun last week when a gasket failure prompted an emergency shutdown of the facility and resulted in an unintentional gas leak. Weymouth's compressor
The state of Connecticut is suing ExxonMobil, charging the oil major with "decades of deceit" on the risks of climate change that stem from burning fossil fuels. "ExxonMobil sold oil and gas, but it also sold lies about climate science," Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said in a press release.
This week, a group of eight Australian teens has brought a groundbreaking new climate change lawsuit against Australia's Federal Minister for the Environment in an effort to stop a proposed coal mine expansion in the state of New South Wales, roughly 267 miles north of Sydney.
Delaware, the home state of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, announced on Thursday, September 10 that it is taking dozens of major oil and gas companies including BP, Chevron, and ExxonMobil to court over the rising costs of climate impacts such as sea level rise and coastal flooding.
The city of Charleston, South Carolina is going to court to hold two dozen oil and gas companies accountable for alleged deception about the role of fossil fuels in driving climate change. Charleston filed its lawsuit against 24 petroleum firms in South Carolina state court on September 9, joining around 20 other communities across the country pursuing similar litigation against the fossil fuel industry.
Six young people from Portugal have filed an unprecedented climate change lawsuit against almost all of Europe, targeting 33 European nations for failing to take adequate action on the climate crisis that they say threatens their human rights.
New Jersey has now joined the wave of lawsuits seeking to hold the fossil fuel industry accountable for climate impacts. The city of Hoboken today filed a case against major oil and gas companies and the American Petroleum Institute (API), a powerful industry trade group which has played a major
As blistering wildfires and a monstrous hurricane fueled by rising temperatures ravage the U.S., Senate Democrats this week released their action plan for combating the climate crisis and building a clean energy economy.
Pennsylvania, traditionally a battleground state in electoral politics, is currently embroiled in a battle over the state potentially joining a regional program to curb carbon pollution from the power sector. That program, called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), has seen carbon dioxide
When a new Massachusetts think tank housed at Tufts University launched earlier this year, Boston-based media described it as a "CBO-like center" (referring to the Congressional Budget Office) that would offer an "independent analysis" of proposed state policy and legislation.
Advocates for holding fossil fuel companies accountable in court for the substantial costs of climate change are urging New Jersey to sue oil majors like ExxonMobil, as over a dozen municipal and state governments have done over the past three years.
A New England-based environmental law group is taking major oil companies to court, claiming the firms have failed to adapt some of their petroleum storage terminals to withstand increasingly severe storm and flooding events worsened by the climate crisis.
As California works to shift away from fossil fuels to meet its climate goals, one of the state's largest suppliers of fossil energy is fighting tooth-and-nail against this energy transition, even to the point of taking California to court over its energy policy.
Fresh off the publication of his new book Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All, Michael Shellenberger - a self-described Democrat and climate activist who nevertheless purports that climate concerns are overhyped - is now making the rounds as a Republican minority witness in
More than a half century ago, the oil industry's top lobbyist warned his peers of the potentially "catastrophic consequences" of burning fossil fuels, consequences that are already starting to unfold as historic heat scorches Siberia and bakes the Middle East this summer. Extreme heat is among the
Warning of an impending financial implosion driven largely by fossil fuel industry deception, a recent report calls on fossil fuel insiders and other potential whistleblowers to help expose and prosecute this fraud.
The Supreme Court of Ireland has ruled in favour of an environmental group challenging the Irish government's climate plans, finding its policies did not meet legal requirements for detailing how the country will meet emissions-reduction targets.
Just over a year ago, the city of Berkeley, California, passed into law a first-in-the-nation ordinance prohibiting natural gas hookups in new buildings, a move that alarmed the gas industry. This alarm has since boiled over into a full-fledged opposition campaign to counter the rising tide of
Statements from large business associations and opponents of climate action are twice as likely to be included in climate change coverage by national newspapers than pro-climate action messaging, according to a new study. The findings suggest mainstream media bias favors entrenched economic
A Louisiana state appeals court has ruled that the Bayou Bridge Pipeline Company illegally "trampled" on the rights of landowners by starting pipeline construction without the landowners' permission. The pipeline company must pay the landowners $10,000 each plus attorneys fees.
Large business and industry associations representing the fossil fuel industry welcomed a July 13 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announcement that the agency would not be strengthening air quality standards for ozone pollution, the main ingredient in smog.
"Renewable natural gas," or RNG, is an alternative gas fuel that comes from landfills, manure, or synthetic processes. That's opposed to the fossil gas that drillers traditionally pump out of underground reserves in oil and gas fields.
During a congressional hearing Tuesday, a plastics industry executive echoed a common refrain from the industry: "Plastic saves lives." However, for many communities of color living in close proximity to the petrochemical plants producing those plastics, the exact opposite is often true.
Climate litigation is not going away any time soon. Lawsuits demanding accountability and action on the existential threat of climate change continue to take hold across the world with some significant new developments and new cases emerging over the past year, according to a new report on trends in global climate change litigation.
This week Congressional Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives put forward policies, including passing a $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill on July 1, aimed at cleaning up the number one source of carbon pollution in America - the transportation sector. The oil and gas industry and its
A lawsuit brought by an environmental group against the Irish government seeking more urgent action to stave off climate catastrophe and protect citizens came before the country's Supreme Court last week. If successful, it could have a ripple effect on courts being used to hold national governments
On Tuesday, June 30, Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, released a comprehensive action plan for tackling climate change. Some environmental groups criticized the plan for lacking ambition and not directly targeting fossil fuel production.
A new study from public health researchers provides the strongest evidence yet that increased exposure to a type of air pollution from tailpipes and smokestacks that's known as fine particulate matter (PM2.5), or soot, can cause premature death. This peer-reviewed study of air pollution impacts on
Washington, D.C. is suing the four largest investor-owned oil and gas companies - BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Shell - for allegedly misleading consumers about climate change, including historically undermining climate science and even now using deceptive advertising about the companies' role in
Minnesota has officially joined the climate accountability movement with the announcement on Wednesday, June 24 of a groundbreaking lawsuit against fossil fuel behemoths such as ExxonMobil and Koch Industries and the nation's largest oil and gas lobbying group for alleged deception on climate change
California communities last month got an important procedural win in their efforts to get fossil fuel companies to pay for climate-related impacts. On May 26, a federal appeals court ruled that their lawsuits could go ahead in state court, which is their preferred venue, rather than federal court.
Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak announced on Monday, June 22, that Nevada would be developing a policy to increase the number of zero and low-emission vehicles sold within the state.
Earlier this spring, while much of the nation's attention focused on the coronavirus crisis, the U.S. oil and gas industry quietly launched a new coalition using messaging that invokes "transportation fairness." Like other petroleum interest front groups that have campaigned against clean
How to stop progress If we added together all the ways our transport is killing us it would show a global massacre, with one of the biggest perpetrators being the motor car. Over a million people are killed on the world's roads each year.
Before the U.S. fracking boom took off, shale drillers had access for over two decades to a particular tax incentive that experts say played a key role in setting the stage for the so-called shale revolution.
In April, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, proposed maintaining, rather than strengthening, national air quality standards for soot, a type of air pollution with serious impacts for heart and lung health. This week, an independent panel
On Thursday, May 28, several Democratic members of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, along with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), sent a letter to Marathon Petroleum seeking information on the oil company's involvement in the Trump administration's rollback of clean car standards. The
A coalition of 23 states plus the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit on Wednesday in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, challenging the Trump Administration's rollback of the Obama-era clean car standards. Those standards mandated stronger reductions of greenhouse gas emissions from new light-duty
ExxonMobil is facing yet another lawsuit challenging the corporation's allegedly deceptive behavior related to climate change. The latest suit, filed May 15 in the D.C. Superior Court, claims the oil major is misleading consumers with "false and deceptive" advertising about its investments in "clean
The head of a federal committee tasked with advising the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on air quality science recently disparaged a new Harvard study examining the link between air pollution and coronavirus fatalities across the country. The EPA adviser's critical remarks appear consistent
Climate science deniers at think tanks with fossil fuel ties are doubling down on attempts to undermine the bases for regulating climate pollution, from attacking estimated carbon pollution costs used in regulatory analyses to urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reverse its own
A gas industry union leader and chair of a group funded by California's largest gas utility threatened to protest with "no social distancing" a vote last month on a city policy in San Luis Obispo that would support electrification in new buildings, according to emails obtained by Climate
Colorado is moving ahead with a plan to get nearly 1 million electric vehicles (EV) on its roads by 2030 and, for the first time, has adopted a long-term goal of transitioning to 100 percent electric and zero-emission vehicles.
On Tuesday, May 5, several Democratic members of the House Natural Resources Committee hosted a virtual discussion calling out how far the Trump administration has gone to cater to fossil fuel interests during the COVID-19 crisis and how that favoritism affects average Americans.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Trump administration is run by fossil fuel allies determined to do polluters' bidding, U.S. senators are telling the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. The group of Democratic senators calls out this extensive fossil fuel industry influence in a recent
While fossil fuel companies defend against mounting climate liability lawsuits in court, their surrogates are working in parallel to target the attorneys, academics, and institutions supporting these lawsuits. This defensive strategy involves vigorous public records requests, and in some cases legal
As the death toll from COVID-19 continues to rise in the U.S. - and as initial studies suggest that long-term exposure to air pollution may lead to higher death rates from the disease - a new report finds that nearly five in 10 Americans are breathing polluted air.
This story is a part of Covering Climate Now's week of coverage focused on Climate Solutions, to mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Covering Climate Now is a global journalism collaboration committed to strengthening coverage of the climate story.
The Trump administration is eyeing new strategies to support a struggling oil and gas sector, which may include freeing up funds or facilitating access to lending programs under coronavirus economic relief efforts, even as millions of Americans remain unemployed and with coronavirus testing and
Oil companies have long been aware that their products cause global warming and the impacts, including from rising seas, could be catastrophic. From a scientist who warned executives in 1959 that New York could be submerged, to a confidential 1988 Shell report that raised the possibility of
At a time when fossil fuel companies are using a public health crisis to demand financial and regulatory support, the governments of Baltimore and Rhode Island are calling out a "decades-long campaign of deception" by these companies in urging courts to advance lawsuits trying to hold polluters
After Congress declined to allocate $3 billion of the recent economic stimulus package to fill the government's emergency stockpile of oil, the Trump administration has taken its own steps to provide short-term relief to the U.S. petroleum sector.
Thousands of Americans are dying, millions have filed for unemployment, and frontline health care workers are risking their lives as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across the U.S. In the midst of this crisis, the fossil fuel industry, particularly the oil and gas sector, has been actively seeking
A federal appeals court ruled April 1 that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had no basis to withhold one key part of a computer model used by the agency to develop its less stringent greenhouse gas emission standards for new vehicles.
The Trump administration today announced the final rule that rolls back Obama-era clean vehicle standards, a move that, according to the government's own analyses, is expected to benefit the oil industry and harm consumers, public health, and the climate. Experts also warn it will result in litigation and global market inconsistency to the detriment of automakers.
Bucking President Trump's directive for buying oil to fill up the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), Senate Democrats last week nixed what they say was a $3 billion bailout for oil producers from the coronavirus economic stimulus bill that passed the Senate on March 25. An earlier version of the $2
Electric cars are better for the climate than gas-powered vehicles in nearly every part of the world. That's the clear, unequivocal finding of the first study that conducted a global examination of the current and future greenhouse gas emissions of electric vehicles (EVs) and gas-powered cars. This
Leading experts in the medical community, including two former U.S. Surgeons General, recently filed supporting briefs backing a youth climate lawsuit against the federal government because, like the current coronavirus pandemic, the climate crisis poses "unprecedented threats to public health and
Two years after internal documents surfaced showing that Royal Dutch Shell, like ExxonMobil, knew about climate dangers decades ago, the oil giant released its latest annual report outlining its business strategy and approach to addressing climate change. Despite clear warnings from scientists,
As this week the U.S. Senate tries to advance stalled bipartisan energy legislation, the American Energy Alliance (AEA) last week announced its latest initiative opposing any tax credit extension for electric vehicles (EV) in that bill.
Could the climate crisis precipitate a financial crash akin to or even greater than the one in 2008? With markets currently in turmoil due to the coronavirus pandemic, experts testified Thursday that there is high risk for an even larger economic crisis absent urgent climate policy.
Hawaii has officially joined the fight to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for the climate crisis. On Monday the City of Honolulu filed a lawsuit against 10 oil and gas companies, seeking monetary damages to help pay for costs associated with climate impacts like sea level rise and flooding.
A new oil and gas industry ad pushes back against growing calls to hold the fossil fuel industry accountable for the climate crisis - by making the bold statement that it would be criminal not to produce oil and gas.
The city of Baltimore is one step closer to holding fossil fuel companies liable for localized climate impacts. A federal appeals court on Friday ruled that the case will proceed in Maryland state court, rejecting the companies' appeal to move the suit to federal court.
Opponents of a regional proposal to curb transportation sector emissions in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic are using a number of deceptive tactics to attack and criticize the Transportation and Climate Initiative. Groups tied to the oil industry have pointed to misleading studies, deployed
It is no secret that many members of Congress particularly on the Republican side are in the pockets of their fossil fuel funders. The strategy of these special interests is to keep loyal lawmakers in their pockets through hefty campaign contributions, according to a new study exploring the purpose
A new report from advocacy group Food and Water Watch argues that fracking and continued reliance on natural gas is detrimental to addressing climate change. The report, which calls out the fossil fuel industry's misleading narratives around natural gas, comes at a time when progressive members of
Climate change is not a crisis, according to ExxonMobil's latest climate risk report to shareholders and the public. Despite ongoing record-setting global temperatures, wildfires, and other impacts, the oil and gas giant contends that growing climate instability does not rule out continued production of fossil fuels.
In back-to-back hearings before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday, lawyers representing California cities and counties suing fossil fuel companies over localized climate impacts argued their cases are based on the companies' alleged campaigns of deception around climate science that
ExxonMobil has dismissed a shareholder proposal calling for the company to disclose how it plans to align its business with Paris Agreement climate targets, calling it "materially false and misleading." Other companies with significant stakes in fossil fuels are also resisting similar requests from shareholders to take responsibility for their contributions to climate change.
Updated, Jan. 30-The French petroleum company Total is facing a new climate lawsuit by several environmental groups and 14 local governments seeking to force the company to reduce emissions to protect French citizens. The groups served an official court summons on Total on Tuesday in a court near Paris.
Last month New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu announced the state would not be participating in the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI), a regional cap-and-trade program aimed at reducing carbon emissions from vehicles. The program is still in early stages of development, but groups tied
When a pair of Ninth Circuit Court judges ordered dismissal of a landmark youth climate change lawsuit last week, they concluded that the U.S. government may be harming the nation's youth through its fossil fuel-based energy policy, but that courts cannot stop that harm. "Rather, the plaintiffs'
While an appeals court in Norway has ruled that the government should be accountable for all the emissions from oil drilled in Norwegian territory, it refused to invalidate the drilling leases that were challenged in a lawsuit by two environmental groups.
A group of young people in Germany are suing the German government over climate policy they say fails to protect their fundamental rights. The lawsuit, filed last week by nine plaintiffs between the ages of 15 and 32, asks the Federal Constitutional Court to review Germany's new climate protection law passed in November.
You don't have to look far to find misinformation about climate science continuing to spread online through prominent social media channels like YouTube. That's despite the overwhelming scientific consensus that humans are driving the climate crisis.
Victims of disastrous flooding in and around Indonesia's capital of Jakarta, the result of torrential downpours that killed more than 60 people and displaced more than 175,000 earlier this month, launched a class action lawsuit Monday against the Jakarta government.
Industry groups including oil and gas trade associations were quick to pile on the praise following President Trump's announcement Thursday, January 9 of major overhauls to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The 50-year-old bedrock environmental statute requires federal agencies to review
The last decade was the warmest on record and also the costliest, with more than twice the number of billion-dollar extreme weather events in the U.S. as the previous decade. There were 119 disasters from 2010-19 that topped $1 billion in damages, compared to 59 of them from 2000-09, according to new data released by NOAA.
A Louisiana appeals court heard oral arguments Wednesday, January 8 in a case brought by Louisiana landowners against the Bayou Bridge Pipeline Company that illegally trespassed and began pipeline construction without landowners' consent. Attorneys for the landowners are asking the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a lower court decision granting the pipeline company's eminent domain right to seize the land.
More than a dozen states filed an amicus brief on Friday supporting Rhode Island's climate lawsuit against fossil fuel companies. The coalition of states supporting Rhode Island's case is the largest yet, with Maine, Delaware, and Hawaii weighing in for the first time on litigation seeking to hold Big Oil accountable for climate change impacts.
As 2019 comes to a close, DeSmog is reflecting on another year that featured high-impact investigations and accountability reporting by our team of journalists about the reckless fossil fuel industry. From new revelations regarding dangerous fossil fuel infrastructure, to new documents shedding
Fossil fuel companies facing climate-related litigation are starting to acknowledge in their financial disclosure forms that these legal challenges could harm their business. Dozens of companies have been named in more than a dozen climate liability lawsuits filed by communities across the country.
The oil industry, a staunch opponent of electric vehicles (EVs), received an early Christmas present from the White House as President Trump reportedly intervened to quash an EV tax credit expansion from inclusion in a government spending package. The tax credit is meant to help offset the upfront cost of electric vehicles and boost the EV market.
Automakers are failing to drive a rapid shift towards low-carbon transport, according to a new analysis, indicating that the industry is not aligned with the Paris Agreement goal of keeping global warming below 2 degrees C.
As Minnesota begins the rulemaking process to adopt a pair of clean car standards, citizens and organizations weighed in with their comments and concerns, through an official Request for Comments portal. A DeSmog analysis found that a majority of the hundreds of comments received were supportive of the initiative, which aims to reduce the state's transportation-sector emissions.
Fossil fuel companies facing a climate liability lawsuit brought by Baltimore argued in court on Wednesday that the case involves federal regulatory powers and should not proceed in state court. The lawsuit, which seeks monetary damages to help pay for climate impacts, was originally filed in Maryland state court last year.
Oil companies ExxonMobil and Suncor Energy are asking a Colorado court to dismiss a climate lawsuit filed against them last year by the counties of Boulder and San Miguel and the city of Boulder. The companies filed a motion to dismiss the case late Monday in Boulder County District Court, where the case was initially filed in April 2018.
BlackRock, Vanguard, Citigroup, and JPMorgan Chase are among the top global financers of new coal development, according to new research presented during the United Nations climate summit in Madrid. That research, published by the German NGO Urgewald along with BankTrack and 30 partner organizations, reveals and ranks the financial institutions sinking money into the dirtiest form of fossil fuels in the three years since the Paris Agreement was signed.
print By Dana Drugmand An environmental law organization has launched a first-of-its-kind complaint against British Petroleum over the company's latest advertising, claiming it is misleading to consumers. ClientEarth submitted its complaint Wednesday to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which governs responsible business conduct for multinational enterprises.
A group of young Canadians have filed a climate lawsuit against the province of Ontario, claiming that the government's rollback of climate policies under Ontario Premier Doug Ford violates their fundamental rights. The new lawsuit, Mathur et. al. v. Her Majesty in Right of Ontario, challenges the weakening of Ontario's 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target.
The American Petroleum Institute, the nation's largest oil and gas trade association, is promoting a new video touting domestic natural gas production as essential to energy security. The video, titled "America's Energy Security: A Generation of Progress At Risk?" comes at a time when calls for
As California continues to battle the Trump administration over the state's authority to set stricter greenhouse gas emissions standards for vehicles, a coalition of East Coast states is facing a potential battle of its own, with opposition emerging to the states' plan to tackle transportation
An environmental organization suing the Irish government to challenge the country's climate policy has appealed the dismissal of its case, and is taking that appeal all the way to the Supreme Court. The Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE) appealed on Friday to the Court of Appeal.
If countries produce all the fossil fuels they currently have planned, the world has no chance of limiting global warming to the 2 degrees Celsius goal of the Paris Climate Agreement, a new report finds. That conclusion could bolster the cases being pursued around the world to hold governments accountable for their policies' impact on the climate.
The oil companies fighting a climate liability lawsuit from several Colorado communities are asking a federal appeals court to overturn a ruling sending the case to state court. ExxonMobil and Suncor Energy filed a brief outlining their argument for federal jurisdiction to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday.
As public hearings in the Trump impeachment inquiry headed into their second week, one of the nation's top political cable news hosts was connecting the dots between the rise of authoritarianism, challenges to democracy, and the corrupting power of the oil and gas industry.
In arguing against a lawsuit pushing for the invalidation of its oil leases in the Arctic, the Norwegian government defended the continued oil exploration, saying it is not responsible for the emissions created when that oil is burned elsewhere.
Koch Industries, the second largest privately held company in the United States, has significantly increased its lobbying spending this year, including efforts to influence policy on key climate and transportation issues and legislation. Mandatory disclosure forms reveal that lobbying by Koch Industries is up by almost 20 percent compared to this time last year.
Democratic presidential contender Elizabeth Warren called for companies that deliberately mislead federal regulators to be prosecuted under a new corporate perjury law, according to a plan she released Tuesday, using Exxon as an example. Warren's "Fighting Corporate Perjury" plan would allow corporate officers to be held criminally liable for providing false or misleading information, including by using industry-funded studies, to regulatory agencies.
It's been a bumpy ride for the auto industry in the ongoing battle over clean car regulations and California's authority to set stricter rules for vehicle emissions. The industry is now divided as several automakers reached a deal over the summer with California to embrace a cleaner emissions
Honolulu will join the growing wave of U.S. municipalities that have filed climate liability suits against fossil fuel companies. Mayor Kirk Caldwell said on Tuesday he intends to file suit against BP, Chevron, Shell, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, the BHP Group, Marathon and Aloha Petroleum to hold them accountable for climate impacts to the city.
As oil and gas companies continue to expand petroleum production despite increasingly dire climate warnings, new research shows these companies must slash output by more than a third over the next 20 years if the world is to meet its target to limit global warming under the Paris Agreement.
A German court has dismissed a climate lawsuit against the German government by three farming families and Greenpeace Germany. The Berlin Administrative Court ruled Thursday that the plaintiffs' fundamental rights had not yet been violated by the government's failure to meet its 2020 emission reduction target, as the complaint alleged.
The House Oversight Committee, which last week heard testimony on the oil industry's efforts to suppress climate science, continued to probe the industry's deception and influence with a hearing on the Trump administration's proposed rollbacks of clean car standards - rollbacks that stand to benefit
Fossil fuel interests appear intent on swaying public opinion about the electric vehicle tax credit, based on recent polling on the policy. A deeper look at these efforts reveals oil and gas funding behind the groups conducting the polls and blatant bias in the polling methodology, according to
A group of young Canadians is suing the federal government over climate change, an action that is part of a burgeoning global youth movement demanding climate justice through the courts. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of 15 young people aged 10-19, mirrors the claims and demands of the landmark American youth climate case Juliana v.
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey sued ExxonMobil on Thursday in the first state lawsuit alleging both consumer and investor fraud over climate risks. Healey said that while Exxon has long known its products drive climate destabilization, the world's largest publicly traded oil and gas company has misled consumers with deceptive advertising and failed to disclose climate-related risks to its investors.
A panel of climate and legal experts that also included two former Exxon employees testified in Congress on Wednesday about the oil industry's long history of suppressing what it knew about fossil fuels' role in climate change.
Amid the crescendo of calls for climate action and rising rage directed at the fossil fuel industry, petroleum producers and their allies are engaging in an aggressive promotional push focused on natural gas. The same month that the American Petroleum Institute (API) started running ads emphasizing
The U.S. Supreme Court denied applications by fossil fuel companies to halt three climate liability lawsuits against them. The court's order allows the cases filed by Baltimore, Rhode Island and three Colorado communities to proceed in state court while the companies pursue appeals to move the cases to federal court.
The attorney general of Minnesota, one of the states that took a lead role in holding the tobacco industry accountable for public health costs in the 1990s, said he is acutely aware of the potential of litigation to hold fossil fuel companies responsible for climate change.
Young Alaskans who are suing their state government over climate change harms had their appeal heard on Wednesday in the state's highest court, which will decide whether to allow the case to proceed to trial. The 16 young plaintiffs are alleging the state violated their rights under Alaska's constitution by promoting fossil fuel development despite knowing it drove climate change.
Three environmental conservation groups sued the Trump administration on Tuesday for failing to account for the climate impacts of planned oil and gas extraction on public lands in western Colorado. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado by the Center for Biological Diversity, Wilderness Workshop, and the Wilderness Society.
As Canadian communities continue to lay the groundwork for liability cases against fossil fuel companies, one of the country's leading constitutional and public law attorneys announced he would be offering a legal opinion to the communities free of charge. That announcement by Joseph Arvay of the firm Arvay Finlay came during the recent Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention.
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced last week that the state would be adopting a pair of clean car standards following California's lead, even as the Trump administration tries to revoke California's authority to set stricter standards under federal law. But Minnesota's move is already prompting
A groundbreaking new lawsuit challenging a Polish coal plant-the largest single emitter of carbon dioxide in Europe-was launched Thursday by the environmental law organization ClientEarth. The suit is the first seeking to hold a coal plant operator liable for environmental and climate harm under a Polish law that designates the environment as a "common good."
Ahead of a November court hearing in a lawsuit challenging the Norwegian government's approval of offshore oil drilling, a UN human rights official is calling on Norway to cease new oil exploration and to "accept substantial responsibility" for addressing the climate crisis.
By Dana Drugmand International human rights leaders will deliver a new declaration on climate, rights and human survival to world leaders when they assemble this weekend for the United Nations climate action summit in New York and say they will hold governments and corporations most responsible for the climate crisis accountable through litigation and other actions.
Two independent judicial officials in the Netherlands have advised the Dutch Supreme Court to uphold a groundbreaking ruling in the case Urgenda v. The Netherlands that requires the government to more aggressively cut the country's emissions. The formal opinion, issued Friday, came from the Advocate General and Procurator General, independent positions inside the country's judiciary system.
With the oil industry continuing to invest heavily in projects all but assured to lose money as the world moves toward a lower-carbon economy, as a study published last week shows, investors may increasingly turn to shareholder lawsuits to protect their investments.
As a wave of climate liability lawsuits come to a crescendo this fall, one fossil fuel major finds itself facing peril from more directions than any other: ExxonMobil. With the trial in New York's lawsuit against the company for climate fraud starting Oct.
Sen. Kamala Harris became the latest Democratic presidential candidate to include holding the fossil fuel industry accountable for climate change among her policies to tackle the issue if she is elected. During a televised town hall event Wednesday night, Harris, a former prosecutor and attorney general of California, said she would work to hold the industry liable for the damage it has caused to the climate.
The Pacific Northwest's most iconic species-the orcas that live in the Salish Sea year-round-are on the brink of extinction with just 73 whales remaining as of July 1. The Southern Resident orcas have made headlines repeatedly over the past year, including the recent loss of three adult whales and last summer's widely reported story of a female who carried her dead calf for more than two weeks and over 1,000 miles.
A coalition of 19 attorneys general is pushing back against what they say is an attempt by the Trump administration to disregard climate change impacts when conducting environmental reviews as required under the National Environmental Policy Act. The attorneys general filed a comment letter on Tuesday opposing the Council on Environmental Quality's draft guidance regarding greenhouse gas emissions, which was issued in June.
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders released his plan for tackling the climate crisis on Thursday, and it includes perhaps the strongest call yet for holding fossil fuel companies accountable for climate change--including pursuing criminal liability. "Fossil fuel executives should be criminally prosecuted for the destruction they have knowingly caused," Sanders said via Twitter.
As a tense meeting of countries in the Pacific region concluded last week with Australia forcing a watered-down statement climate change, Australia's deputy prime minister further demonstrated the government's disregard for Pacific islands' pleas for urgent climate action to ensure their survival.
As leaders of Pacific island nations converge this week in Tuvalu, a group of students from the region are calling on their governments to bring the issue of climate justice to the highest court in the world.
The oil companies being sued by the city of Baltimore for the costs of climate damages have appealed a recent decision by a federal judge sending the case to state court.
Members of Congress recently introduced three new carbon pricing bills aimed at curbing planet-warming emissions. While the bills vary in their policy details, none explicitly absolve the fossil fuel industry of potential tort liability in climate lawsuits brought by municipalities, unlike another recent plan supported by the fossil fuel industry.
California rapidly passed a new law earlier this month that aims to strike a balance between guarding the state's investor-owned utilities against insurmountable liability costs from wildfires while also protecting fire victims and ratepayers from skyrocketing costs.
A Canadian judge halted a climate lawsuit filed by a group of young people in Quebec against the Canadian government, rejecting its class action status in a ruling last week. The lawsuit was brought by the organization ENvironnement JEUnesse (ENJEU) on behalf of people age 35 and under in Quebec.
The 10 families and one Swedish youth association that brought a lawsuit challenging the European Union's 2030 climate target have appealed their case to the European Court of Justice. The People's Climate Case was dismissed in May by the European General Court, which based its decision on a narrow interpretation of the planitiffs' standing.
Climate justice and human rights advocates are convening the first global summit on human rights and climate change this September, hoping to kick-start an escalation in the international human rights community's response to the climate crisis.
Climate change-related lawsuits, once mostly limited to the U.S., have now been filed in nearly 30 countries, targeting governments and corporate polluters, according to the latest analysis of the trend. A new report was published last week by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics.
A United Nations human rights expert has called for a new report to serve as a stirring wake-up call for transformative change in the global response to the climate crisis, and warns that basic human rights, democracy, and the rule of law are at risk.
Democratic presidential candidate and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee unveiled a plan to directly challenge the fossil fuel industry, including holding polluters legally accountable and extending federal support to climate liability lawsuits against fossil fuel producers. "This industry has known about this for decades and has lied to the American people about it.
Marin County, Calif., is working to rally opposition to a carbon tax proposal that would also grant legal immunity to fossil fuel companies facing climate liability lawsuits-just like the one Marin and more than a dozen other communities have filed to hold those companies accountable for the costs of climate damages.
A group of mayors will propose a resolution that seeks to protect cities from shouldering the burden of climate adaptation costs at an upcoming meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. The resolution also asks the group to oppose attempts to shield fossil fuel companies from climate liability lawsuits, alluding to a carbon tax proposal that would give legal immunity to the industry.
Following a federal court ruling that invalidated government oil and gas leasing in Wyoming on climate change grounds in March, a new lawsuit filed earlier this week seeks to overturn petroleum leasing on public land in New Mexico due to climate impacts. WildEarth Guardians sued the Department of Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on Monday in U.S.
Almost exactly two years after President Trump announced his plans to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, a groundbreaking youth climate change lawsuit challenging the federal government's promotion of fossil fuel energy was back in court for a long-awaited hearing. Before a three-judge panel in
A federal court decided last week to send a lawsuit filed by a Louisiana parish against oil and gas companies back to state court, the kind of jurisdictional battle also facing cities and counties across the country who have filed climate liability suits against some of the same companies.
Industry trade groups, several law professors, a free-market legal think tank, the U.S. government and 18 states have rallied behind five major oil companies in fighting a major climate liability lawsuit.
A group of indigenous Australians have brought a legal complaint against the Australian government for violating their human rights by contributing to climate change. The complaint, filed by indigenous people from the Torres Strait Islands to the United Nations Human Rights Committee, alleges the government's inadequate response to the climate crisis is a violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the world's oldest human rights treaty.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which historically has worked to block climate policy and undermine international action, has proposed sweeping new rules to help fossil fuel companies fend off liability lawsuits seeking to hold them accountable for costly climate impacts.
An ExxonMobil shareholder has filed a lawsuit against the oil giant and some of its executives alleging they misled investors by understating how much risk climate change poses to the company's assets. Sarah Von Colditz filed the suit Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
ExxonMobil, currently a defendant in multiple climate change liability lawsuits and one for alleged securities fraud over its climate risk disclosures, has asked a federal judge in Texas to deny class certification in a class action suit brought by investors against the company. That suit, Ramirez v.
New York City, which is attempting to force fossil fuel companies to pay for climate change adaptation costs through a lawsuit, has passed groundbreaking legislation addressing its own greenhouse gas emissions. The New York City Council voted 45-2 on Thursday in favor of a suite of bills aimed at cutting carbon emissions, improving energy efficiency and advancing clean energy.
Colorado has passed a law requiring state regulators to prioritize public health and the environment in regulating oil and gas operations, drawing sharp criticism from the fossil fuel industry and praise from a group of young people who had unsuccessfully sued the state trying to force those regulations. Gov.
Exxon cannot block its shareholders from voting on two new shareholder proposals, one calling on the oil giant to create a new board committee to address climate change and the other calling on the company to more fully disclose political contributions to tax-exempt organizations, including trade associations and other 501(c)(4) or "dark money" organizations.
Royal Dutch Shell is cutting ties with the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers over the group's stance on climate change. The decision came in response to demands by institutional investors for Shell to improve transparency on how its trade association membership aligns with its climate change positions.
The impacts of climate change are accelerating, and human rights organizations are increasingly urging governments across the globe to uphold their human rights obligations by taking meaningful steps to curb climate change, according to a pair of recently released reports. This could spur an increase in climate change-related litigation.
Support piled in last week for the liability suits filed by San Francisco and Oakland against five oil companies, including friend-of-the-court briefs from six Democratic senators, several government associations as well as former Secretary of State John Kerry and former Environmental Protection Agency head Gina McCarthy.
A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration's authorization of oil and gas leasing in Wyoming failed to adequately consider climate change, a decision that invalidated drilling leases for more than 300,000 acres of federal land.
A group of 10 states and the District of Columbia filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday in support of San Francisco and Oakland's climate liability lawsuits against fossil fuel companies, arguing the cases belong in state court and that courts should play a role in forcing accountability for climate change.
The Securities and Exchange Commission recently allowed two large banks to block a shareholder proposal addressing the climate impact of the banks' investment portfolios. The proposal requested that Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo reduce the carbon footprint of their loan and investment portfolios to align with the Paris Climate Agreement's goal of holding global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.
The town of Exeter, N.H. passed an ordinance recognizing the right to a healthy climate, the second ordinance of its kind to be passed in the U.S,. The law, dubbed the Right to Healthy Climate Ordinance, recognizes the "right to a healthy climate system capable of sustaining human societies."
A federal judge denied ExxonMobil's motion to dismiss multiple climate change-related claims brought by Conservation Law Foundation. The foundation's lawsuit, filed in 2016, alleges that Exxon violated the permit requirements for its oil storage terminal in Everett, Mass. by failing to consider the risk of imminent extreme weather events like flooding and storm surge.
Following the release of a new report that warns of the dire consequences of the Trump administration's rollback of environmental protections, four Democratic state attorneys general vowed to continue fighting those rollbacks in court. The AGs of Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut spoke on Tuesday about their states' commitment to protecting the climate and the health of their citizens.
More than a dozen groups filed friend-of-the-court briefs to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the landmark youth climate lawsuit Juliana v. United States . The wide support came from businesses, members of Congress, environmental groups and environmental law organizations, environmental historians, law professors and international lawyers, the libertarian think tank Niskanen Center, public health experts, and religious and women's groups.
A Congressional hearing on how corporations have manipulated science and peddled denial campaigns to the public ended before it began on Tuesday when the Republican committee chair moved to adjourn the session and not enough supportive Democrats were in attendance to defeat the motion. Rep.
One of the world's largest mining and natural resource companies announced it will limit coal production to reduce carbon emissions in response to investors who pushed the company to commit to a transition to a low-carbon economy. Glencore, a multinational mining company based in Switzerland, announced its plans after discussions with ...
A federal judge in Pennsylvania dismissed a climate lawsuit brought by an environmental organization and two children against the federal government. The lawsuit, Clean Air Council v. United States , claimed that Trump administration rollbacks of environmental regulations and other "anti-science" decisions violate Constitutional rights and the public trust.
As students stage school walkouts in Europe to demand action on climate change-including more than 10,000 joining one strike in Great Britain last Friday-thousands of kids in the U.S. have signed a petition to support the 21 young people suing the federal government over climate change.
Seven environmental and human rights organizations in the Netherlands announced on Tuesday they are prepared to sue Royal Dutch Shell if the oil giant refuses to align its business model with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.
The five oil and gas companies sued by New York City last year over climate change-related damages doubled down on their argument that courts should not be in the business of regulating global warming. They argued their case anew in a brief they filed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals last week.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The latest installment in the debate over whether climate liability suits should be heard in federal or state court took place Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Rhode Island. The hearing dealt with a motion to remand to state court a case filed last July by Rhode Island against 21 oil and gas companies seeking damages from climate change-related impacts.
An attorney who has defended the oil industry in high-profile climate and environmental cases, including the current crop of climate liability lawsuits, has been nominated by President Trump to fill a vacancy on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Daniel P.
Eight briefs were filed on Wednesday in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the California communities trying to keep their climate liability lawsuits against fossil fuel companies in state court. The friend-of-the-court briefs came from government groups, two advocacy organizations, prominent climate scientists, academics who study climate deception and U.S.
The Colorado Supreme Court reversed a lower court ruling on Monday and ruled against a set of youth plaintiffs who sought to force the state to consider the impacts on public health and the climate in allowing oil and gas development.
Facing billions of dollars in damage costs and numerous lawsuits for its role in sparking devastating wildfires in northern California, the state's largest utility is now exploring options to avoid financial ruin, including a possible bankruptcy filing . But while Pacific Gas & Electric Co.
With 2018 having just drawn to a close, some organizations have begun to tally the staggering climate-related costs of a year featuring severe drought, heat, fires, floods and storms around the world. Ten of the biggest disasters cost at least in total damages, according to a recent report by the United Kingdom-based organization Christian Aid.
Climate liability lawsuits exploded onto the world stage in 2018-a year that began with New York City suing five oil majors and ended with France facing a potential lawsuit for failing to make climate progress and the European Parliament announcing a probe into ExxonMobil's decades-long climate misinformation campaign.
Amid increasingly urgent warnings that the world is nowhere close to meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, several nonprofit organizations initiated legal action this week against France, the nation that hosted the climate negotiations that produced the landmark agreement in 2015.
Despite recent reports that highlight the potentially devastating economic impact of climate change, the business world may not be taking the threat seriously enough, according to a .
As Congress debates what, if anything, to do with the federal electric vehicle (EV) tax credit, the oil industry is fighting to kill the popular incentive, which is hitting some key milestones in the program.
Boston - Three months after an overpressurized gas line caused fiery explosions and one fatality in the Merrimack Valley, executives from Massachusetts' five major gas utilities faced fiery questioning and scrutiny on industry safety practices by a state legislative committee.
As Miami struggles to plan for the impact of rising seas, its City Commission has taken the unusually forward-looking step of trying to protect low-income residents from being forced out of their higher-elevation neighborhoods by wealthier people fleeing their coastal properties.
The cost of climate change has already reached into the billions of dollars and the tab will continue rising along with global temperature and sea levels, according to the Fourth National Climate Assessment released last Friday.
On Thursday October 11th, a group of activists, teachers, friends and allies gathered in the Equal Exchange cafe for a discussion on chocolate and climate change hosted by the Equal Exchange Organizing department.
Canada is likely to be the next national government to face a climate lawsuit launched by young people. ENvironnement JEUnesse (ENJEU), a Quebec-based environmental education group, on Monday that it had applied for authorization for the class action suit.
Officials in the South Pacific island of Vanuatu said they are considering suing fossil fuel companies and nations that support the industry for their role in climate change, which presents an existential threat to low-lying nations. If Vanuatu does sue, it would be the first climate liability lawsuit by a national government.
A group of commercial fishermen are joining the legal fight against the fossil fuel industry for its role in climate change. A new lawsuit by the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations ( ), the West Coast's largest commercial fishing association, was filed on Wednesday in California state court.
As major wildfires once again rage across California, fueled by extended drought and a warming climate, the immediate danger to life and property are almost certain to be followed by financial crises facing homeowners, insurers and even the state's utilities as the costs skyrocket.
On the surface, a liability verdict involving lead paint poisoning might not seem like it has much to do with climate change, but a recent Supreme Court decision has legal experts drawing some important parallels. When the California Supreme Court refused to take up the companies' appeal , in February, the companies appealed to the U.S.
Koch Industries is calling for the elimination of tax credits for electric vehicles (EVs), all while claiming that it does not oppose plug-in cars and inviting the elimination of oil and gas subsidies that the petroleum conglomerate and its industry peers receive.
A New York judge agreed to sell his stock in ExxonMobil to resolve a potential conflict of interest flagged by the New York attorney general's office after it filed its lawsuit alleging the oil giant misled investors over climate change risk.
The fossil fuel industry succeeded on several fronts in Tuesday's midterm elections: working to defeat two major ballot measures it opposed in Washington and Colorado and keeping a Republican majority in the U.S. Senate, which controls judicial appointments that will be steering the climate liability suits the industry is facing.
Despite continual rejections of its many appeals to stop the landmark youth climate case Juliana v. United States , the Trump administration is continuing its effort to thwart the trial. It filed a new set of appeals with both the U.S.
A judge in Alaska has dismissed a youth-led climate change case against the state's government. The lawsuit alleged that the state's pro-fossil fuel energy policy exacerbates climate change and violates the young plaintiffs' constitutional rights.
Three families in Germany are suing their government hoping to compel it to cut carbon emissions as it has promised, joining a growing trend of citizens worldwide taking legal action against national governments over insufficient climate policies. Greenpeace Germany filed the lawsuit last week on the families' behalf.
The French cities and organizations challenging Total say that its vigilance plan is inadequate and does not meet the legal requirements. In the letter, they write that Total's plan "does not reflect the reality of the impacts of your activities and the risks of serious damage to the climate system that they induce."
The federal government is asking the Supreme Court once again to intervene and halt proceedings in the youth climate change lawsuit Juliana v. United States . The landmark case is set to go to trial at the federal district court in Eugene, Ore., in less than two weeks.
With voters in British Columbia set to head to the polls for local general elections on October 20, a legal advocacy group is striving to ensure that climate liability is on the radar of candidates running for office.
Boston - The Democratic candidate challenging Gov. Charlie Baker for the top seat in Massachusetts government expressed a firm commitment to addressing the climate crisis and accelerating clean energy development during an environmental town hall event Monday night (Oct. 1).
NEW YORK-A worldwide movement seeking relief and accountability for the impacts of human-driven climate change through the courts has taken flight over the past year, and while none of the experts who spoke about the issue on on two panels in New York City said it would solve the climate crisis on ...
As North and South Carolina begin a long recovery process after Hurricane Florence, the lingering question is whether the storm will result in a reevaluation of coastal living.
When California released its Fourth Climate Change Assessment last week, it contained an alarming, comprehensive list of impacts the state will absorb, including rising temperatures, more severe drought and wildfires, declining snowpack, more heavy precipitation, rising sea levels and perhaps most alarming: up to two-thirds of Southern California beaches are at risk of complete erosion by 2100 without large-scale human intervention.
As Hawaii begins to clean up and assess the damage from Hurricane Lane, which dumped more than 40 inches of rain on the islands to become one of the wettest storms in U.S. history , the state is wrestling with what may be its new, wetter reality.
Electric buses are replacing existing diesel-fueled fleets at an accelerating rate, and the transition to battery-powered buses is outpacing even the most optimistic projections. In this light, it should come as little surprise that commentators and organizations with ties to the Koch network and
By Dana Drugmand A lawsuit dubbed the People's Climate Case, which challenges the European Union's 2030 emissions reduction target and other climate policies, was given the green light by a court on Monday and is moving forward. The European General Court accepted the case brought by 10 families from Portugal, Germany, France, Italy, Romania, Kenya and Fiji and a youth association in Sweden.
Understanding those costs, however, is crucial for cities and states trying to protect their residents from climate impacts. They are working to calculate the toll of extreme heat, from decreasing outdoor worker productivity, to crop failures, cancelled flights and students' decreasing ability to learn.
When two federal judges dismissed climate liability lawsuits by San Francisco, Oakland and New York City, it wasn't the end of the road for those suits or others of their kind. But it did highlight the importance to the cities of having these kinds of cases tried in state court.
The Supreme Court the federal government's request to halt discovery and the trial in the youth climate lawsuit Juliana v. United States . The court's rejection on Monday of the defendants' application for a stay means the case will likely proceed to trial as scheduled in U.S.
A federal judge ruled in favor of five major oil companies on Thursday, dismissing New York City's climate liability lawsuit against them. U.S. District Judge John Keenan's ruling marks the second major victory for the fossil fuel companies fighting these climate suits in federal court.
A federal judge heard arguments on Wednesday from Department of Justice attorneys on their latest motions to sidetrack the youth-led climate change lawsuit Juliana v. United States . U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken listened to oral arguments and said she would rule promptly on two motions to dismiss considered at the hearing.
The federal government has asked the Supreme Court to intervene in the landmark youth climate lawsuit Juliana v. United States that is scheduled for trial in October. The Department of Justice filed an application Tuesday seeking to halt discovery and trial, including an administrative stay on proceedings.
Major coastal cities-from New York and Boston to San Francisco and smaller communities like Imperial Beach, Calif.-are already preparing for a potentially perilous future because of sea level rise.
While the immediate reaction to the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy among environmental activists this week fell somewhere between panic and alarm , the implications of what is certain to be a more conservative Supreme Court on the climate liability movement fall into a grayer area.
A federal judge's decision Monday to dismiss the climate liability lawsuits brought by San Francisco and Oakland against five of the world's largest oil companies raised as many questions as it answered. U.S.
A federal judge in California has dismissed the San Francisco and Oakland climate liability lawsuits against five major oil companies, dealing the first major blow to the wave of climate suits that have been filed by communities across the country over the past year. U.S.
From raging wildfires in California, to Hurricane Harvey in Houston, and historic flooding and winter storms in Boston, cities across the U.S. are on the frontlines of climate change impacts. But they are also at the forefront of climate solutions.
A new lawsuit is challenging the European Union's climate policies, including the EU's 2030 emissions reduction target, and demanding more ambitious climate action to protect human rights. The case was filed on May 24 in European General Court in Luxembourg. Defendants are the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.
The latest effort to push back against the growing wave of climate liability lawsuits was launched earlier this month by several attorneys aligned with the climate-denial movement. Their project, Climate Litigation Watch , promises transparency and an "objective record of litigation related to climate change."
Oil companies, already busy fending off lawsuits from several California communities, have filed opposition to a similar suit from New York City. Chevron, ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil filed a memorandum of law last week, arguing to dismiss New York's climate liability lawsuit.
King County, Wash., which encompasses the metropolitan area of Seattle, filed a against five major oil companies on Wednesday, joining a growing list of cities and counties seeking to hold the fossil fuel industry accountable for the impacts of climate change.
In defending Alaska against charges by a group of youth plaintiffs that the state is violating their Constitutional right to a safe climate, the state's assistant attorney general declared on Monday, "Alaska is not destroying the environment. Alaska is not causing climate change."
Several Colorado communities have now joined the growing wave of municipalities taking legal action against fossil fuel companies and seeking compensation for the impacts of climate change. The city and county of Boulder and the county of San Miguel on Tuesday announced a new lawsuit against ExxonMobil and Suncor , two of the largest oil companies with active operations in Colorado.
Renowned climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann visited the Berkshires on Friday and spoke to audiences in Pittsfield and Dalton on the political "war on science" and why he remains optimistic despite the influence of special interests polluting the public discourse.
As fossil fuel companies try to fend off climate liability lawsuits from coastal California communities, a recent study revealed some alarming flood projections for the San Francisco Bay Area, bolstering the communities' argument that rising seas pose imminent harm. The looked at land subsidence, or land that is sinking, which exacerbates flooding risk as sea levels rise.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently responded to shareholder resolutions sent to Chevron and ExxonMobil requesting the oil companies disclose how they plan to align their business models with a low-carbon economy. While the SEC said Exxon could dismiss the proposal, it came to a different conclusion for Chevron, saying Chevron must submit it for consideration at its upcoming shareholder meeting.
By Dana Drugmand A federal judge sent a set of California climate liability lawsuits back to state court on Friday. The decision, by U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria, conflicts with Judge William Alsup's order in late February denying remand for similar lawsuits brought by Oakland and San Francisco.
Dana Drugmand In December, acclaimed biologist and anti-fracking activist Sandra Steingraber visited the Berkshires and spoke about the health and climate impacts of fracked gas and pipelines. Now, Steingraber and other health professionals have issued a stark warning that unconventional oil and gas drilling is causing serious health and safety hazards.
By Dana Drugmand The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the Trump administration's attempt to sidetrack the Juliana v. United States youth climate case on Wednesday, denying the government's writ of mandamus request and allowing the landmark lawsuit to proceed toward trial .
By Dana Drugmand Joining a growing global trend to demand governments protect their citizens from climate catastrophe, a group in the United Kingdom has sued the government for failing to take ambitious action on climate change. A group of 11 plaintiffs ranging in age from 9 to 79 filed a lawsuit in the UK's High Court in December supported by the nonprofit Plan B.
Pittsfield - State and local officials, business leaders and environmental advocates gathered at Berkshire Community College on Monday to discuss steps to transition to 100 percent renewable energy. The Berkshires 100 Percent Renewable Energy Summit is part of a collaborative statewide conversation focusing on achieving a swift, just and complete transition from fossil fuels to clean energy.
By Dana Drugmand In the first of two expected decisions on whether to send the California climate liability lawsuits back to state court, a federal district judge sided with the fossil fuel defendants in keeping the San Francisco and Oakland cases in federal court.
By Dana Drugmand California counties and cities suing the fossil fuel industry for climate damage are fighting back against the industry's attempts to move their cases from state to federal court, a jurisdictional tug-of-war likely crucial to the cases' success. In two separate hearings in mid-February, two U.S.
When the House and Senate finally agreed to a longer-term spending package last week, it approved nearly $90 billion in disaster relief to the parts of the country devastated by hurricanes and wildfires last year, ending a months-long struggle to help communities recover.
By Dana Drugmand When a remote native Alaskan village could find no other relief from damaging coastal storms and erosion that continuously swallowed its land, it filed a nuisance lawsuit against major energy producers and carbon emitters in federal court. That 2008 suit, Native Village of Kivalina v. ExxonMobil et al.
By Dana Drugmand Chevron Corp., one of the defendants in a batch of climate change nuisance lawsuits by communities in California, contends that the suits are meritless, but just in case the company is deemed liable for carbon pollution, the Norwegian state-owned oil company Statoil to shoulder some of the liability burden.
By Dana Drugmand From severe droughts and recent mega-wildfires to melting snowpack and coastal flooding, climate change impacts are already devastating the state of California. Now, the Golden State is at the forefront of new climate liability lawsuits against the fossil fuel industry-litigation that has begun to change the conversation about how climate change should be addressed.
By Dana Drugmand Richmond, Calif., became the latest community on Monday to file suit against 29 fossil fuel companies , seeking monetary damages to pay for costs of adapting to climate change.
ExxonMobil is pushing back against a wave of climate liability lawsuits in California seeking to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for climate change impacts. In a filed Monday in a Texas district court, the company claims the suits amount to a conspiracy aimed to undermine the company's First Amendment rights and coerce it into shifting its stance on climate change.
By Dana Drugmand Hawaii's highest court took an important step in December to hold the state's agencies accountable for transitioning away from fossil fuels as it affirmed the state's constitutional right to a clean environment. The ruling cheered environmental activists at the end of an otherwise stressful year.
By Dana Drugmand When the counties of Marin and San Mateo, along with the City of Imperial Beach, filed lawsuits against more than three dozen fossil fuel companies over the impacts of climate change, they jumped to the forefront of a movement to turn to the courts for climate relief.
Great Barrington - As winter and its freezing temperatures set in, town residents have a unique opportunity to engage in a home heating program that is both cheaper and greener.\ Great Barrington is one of four community grantees statewide selected to participate in the first round of HeatSmart Mass - a community-based education and group purchasing program for clean heating and cooling technologies.
By Dana Drugmand In response to a growing wave of climate change lawsuits and legal investigations attempting to hold fossil fuel corporations accountable for climate consequences and decades of deception, a large industry trade group is now fervently pushing back with an "accountability" initiative of its own.
By Dana Drugmand In deciding whether the landmark youth-led climate change lawsuit Juliana v.
Lenox - The slow struggle to remove PCBs from the Housatonic River is an ongoing saga that started decades ago, while the fight against fracked gas pipelines in Western Massachusetts is a much fresher continuous crusade. But the PCB problem and the pipeline problem are interconnected.
Lenox -- Acclaimed author, biologist, cancer survivor, and environmental activist Sandra Steingraber is slated to speak on environmental toxins and human health this Saturday, December 2 starting at 5 p.m. at Lenox Memorial High School. Dr. Steingraber's talk will specifically address local environmental concerns surrounding fracked gas, PCB contamination, and how these impact our health.
Eversource Boston - A new lawsuit brought on behalf of all electric ratepayers in New England targets two of the largest investor owned utilities (IOUs) in the region for allegedly manipulating wholesale energy markets, resulting in inflated natural gas and electricity costs and higher bills for consumers. Eversource Energy and Avangrid Inc.
By Dana Drugmand Research has boosted the concepts of climate liability and corporate accountability in recent years from pie-in-the-sky theories to plausible underpinnings for litigation. Now, a synthesizing this research concludes there is solid evidentiary basis for holding fossil fuel companies accountable for climate change.
Dana Drugmand Great Barrington - Take a stand for the land, and be a water protector. That was the main message that Winona LaDuke and other guest speakers conveyed during the 37th annual E.F. Schumacher Lectures held at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center Saturday, November 4.
BOSTON - While world leaders meet in Bonn, Germany for the next round of UN climate talks (COP 23), Massachusetts climate activists are demanding that Governor Charlie Baker commit to banning any new fossil fuel infrastructure in the state.
By Dana Drugmand One month after Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico-the worst storm to hit the island in more than 80 years-human suffering continues amid a deepening debt crisis. With hurricane recovery costs alone estimated to reach as high as $95 billion , with an estimated 80 percent of the island still without power and 30 percent without clean water, the question of where that money comes from remains unanswered.
Ben Hillman Sandisfield - Concerned citizens and activists will gather at Lower Spectacle Pond tomorrow (Saturday, Sept. 16) in an act of protest against the Connecticut Expansion pipeline project - a nearly four-mile expansion of existing gas lines that runs directly through Otis State Forest.
Williamstown - Speak truth to power. That's the message conveyed by the latest climate change documentary An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power. As the title implies, the film is a follow-up to the award-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth (2006). That's right, former vice president Al Gore is back at it, relentlessly raising awareness of the existential crisis that is global warming.
A Driving Force in Renewables Deployment for Over a Decade Long before the current emphasis on sub-national leadership in advancing clean energy, some states had created funds dedicated to supporting energy efficiency and renewable energy development. In 2002, a new national nonprofit organization emerged to coordinate and assist these clean energy funds.
As the federal government has retreated from aggressive support for renewable energy, the states are increasingly seen as the locus for innovation and action. New regional and national coalitions of states have emerged to coordinate some of the states' efforts.
Dana Drugmand Pittsfield - Elected officials, business representatives, facilities directors, working-class advocates and environmentalists were among the range of people speaking out Tuesday night (August 1) against a proposed electric rate hike requested by Eversource Energy.
Starting the Conversation By Dana Drugmand On yet another record-breaking warm day in April, a group of Vermonters gathered on the lawn in front of Capstone Community Action in Barre, many holding signs that read "Tax Reform and Climate Action.
As global temperature continues to rise -- with 2016 slated to set a new high for the third consecutive year -- young climate activists are rising to the occasion and breaking new legal ground. Finally, a landmark youth-led climate change lawsuit may move forward to trial.
Citizens are increasingly standing up and fighting back against dirty energy projects across the country, from the Gateway Pacific coal terminal in western Washington to the Northeast Energy Direct gas pipeline in New York, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. But some are taking it a step further by engaging in clean energy development at the local, grassroots level.
Dana Drugmand PITTSFIELD - Solar industry supporters, local officials and environmental advocates are calling on Massachusetts' legislators to act immediately to raise the caps on the state's solar net metering program. "There's a cap on the total amount of solar power eligible for net metering, and in March the cap was hit for towns served by National Grid, including many towns in the Berkshires.
Cities around the country are turning to wind, solar, and hydropower to meet energy needs When it comes to going green, the real action appears to be happening in cities. Georgetown, Texas, recently announced plans to source 100 percent of its electricity from renewable wind and solar power within two years.
CAMBRIDGE - As the planet continues to warm, activists pushing for fossil fuel divestment are turning up the heat. College students have been organizing sit-ins and occupying their universities' administrative buildings demanding justice and a reconsideration from university officials to answer the call to divest.
DALTON - Kinder Morgan's proposed Northeast Energy Direct (NED) gas pipeline has garnered widespread opposition locally and across the region. In response a group of young faith leaders and concerned citizens mobilized an effort to raise awareness about the impacts of climate change and the need to refocus our attention away from destructive fossil fuel expansion and towards a more sustainable, cleaner energy future.
Dana Drugmand BOSTON - Hundreds turned out on the Boston Commons on the last day of February to rally support for Cape Wind and call on utility companies to reinstate their contracts to purchase clean power and jumpstart the offshore wind industry in the U.S.
Editor's Note: Last week, the Great Barrington Selectboard began consideration of a measure that would divest the town's pension fund of its holdings in fossil fuel companies. Across Massachusetts there is a growing movement for just such a divestment.
PITTSFIELD - Kinder Morgan, the Texas-based multibillion dollar company seeking to build a high-pressure fracked gas pipeline through western Massachusetts, held a community open house last Tuesday night, February 10, at Berkshire Community College. Representatives from Tennessee Gas, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan, were on hand to answer questions about the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline.
Pittsfield - As opposition to Kinder Morgan's $5 billion dollar Northeast Energy Direct gas pipeline project continues to mount regionally, a group of local activists is pushing to unite communities across Berkshire County to stand against fossil fuel infrastructure expansion and to promote a clean energy future. On Saturday, Jan.
Boston - A long-awaited study examining the necessity for new natural gas pipeline infrastructure in Massachusetts - and intended to help settle the controversy surrounding Kinder Morgan's Northeast Energy Direct (NED) pipeline - has now been released.
Dana Drugmand Boston - The release of the highly anticipated, state-commissioned energy study that will serve as a blueprint for determining the need for additional natural gas infrastructure, such as the $5 billion high-pressure Northeast Direct (NED) pipeline proposed by Kinder Morgan, has been unexpectedly postponed. Slated for release on Dec.
Washington, Mass. - This past Monday (December 8) Kinder Morgan, the firm behind the proposed multi-billion dollar Northeast Energy Direct natural gas line, updated its pre-filing application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee to reflect a new preferred route alongside existing power lines in western Massachusetts.
Dana Drugmand Fitchburg - Battle lines are being drawn as grassroots community opposition to the Northeast Energy Direct (NED) pipeline expansion proposed by Kinder Morgan's Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. continues to grow.
Since climate change is the single biggest issue facing humanity, it deserves serious attention. If we're to preserve the planet we call home, it's time to go big. That's the thinking behind Years of Living Dangerously, a nine-part documentary series that uses blockbuster Hollywood storytelling techniques to hammer home the climate change message.
Dana Drugmand Cambridge, Mass. - Last month's historic People's Climate mobilization signaled to world leaders that citizens all over the globe were demanding urgent and bold action to address the unfolding threat of climate change. But will our leaders respond to the people's plea?
Stanford University student Erica Knox went to see Bill McKibben's "Do the Math" tour in November 2012. That's when McKibben and 350.org launched a divestment movement to address climate change and challenge the power of the fossil fuel industry. Knox has been involved with divestment group Fossil Free Stanford ever since.
Since the first community supported agriculture program was established in western Massachusetts in the 1980s, the concept of buying food directly from local farms has taken off. There are now thousands of CSAs across the country.
On June 17, the Canadian federal government announced its approval of a controversial pipeline project that would transport crude oil extracted from tar sands in Alberta to Kitimat, a port on the British Columbia coast.
Under the cover of dark money from big donors and special interest influence, Republicans have stealthily extended their ideological agenda into what is supposed to be an independent federal judiciary, according to a new report released today from Senate Democrats.
Boston - "We have been drawn together by a sense that there is danger in the air," Rev. Karlene Griffiths Sekou remarked in the opening of her afternoon keynote address Saturday, November 17. She addressed an audience of more than 100 gathered at Simmons University for a progressive organizing event titled "The Next Two Years and Beyond: A Movement Building Conference."
In court, oil majors say climate action is a matter for governments; outside it, they lobby against climate policies. They can't have it both ways By Dana Drugmand So far eleven cities and counties across the US have filed lawsuits against the fossil fuel industry seeking compensation for climate impacts.
"We'll see you in court." That's the message New York City recently sent to the industry recklessly destabilizing Earth's climate. In announcing a new lawsuit against five of the largest corporate oil companies, Mayor Bill de Blasio said, "It's time for Big Oil to take responsibility for the devastation they have wrought."
We are living in deeply troubling times. Our democracy is eroding, wealth and income inequality has skyrocketed, and tragedy and violence seemingly erupt daily around the world. The recent events in Charlottesville, VA are just the latest reminder of the disturbing place we find ourselves in.
Many of the initiatives to move our energy system towards clean, renewable power emanate from the state and local levels. A few cities have already reached the 100 percent clean energy mark, with many more committing to eventually meet that standard. State policies and programs, meanwhile, have been instrumental in furthering the renewable energy revolution.
In the wake of President Trump's recent decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement, one thing seems abundantly clear, and that is that the role of states in advancing clean energy becomes even more important. Now more than ever, policies and programs to promote sustainable energy resources will come from the state level.
President Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accord is decisively a mistake, but it is should not be characterized as the end of the world or as an indication that climate action in the US is dead.
Commentary Editor's note: This commentary is by Dana Drugmand, of South Royalton, who recently completed an internship with the Vermont Natural Resources Council in the Energy and Climate Action program. She will graduate this month from Vermont Law School with a master's degree in environmental law and policy.
Tomorrow, on April 29, tens of thousands of people will gather in cities across the country in the latest installment of the People's Climate March. We will be marching in protest of the Trump administration's antagonistic climate agenda and also in support of grassroots sustainability work grounded in principles of economic, environmental and social justice.
With the stroke of a pen, President Trump has written off both the biggest economic development opportunity of the twenty-first century, and the security of today's young people, future generations and the other species inhabiting this planet. Or so it seems.
Commentary Editor's note: This commentary is by Dana Drugmand, a graduate student at Vermont Law School pursing a master's degree in environmental law and policy. She is currently interning with the Vermont Natural Resources Council in the Energy and Climate Action program.
" No Short-Term Fix for California Methane Leak"; " How Tap Water Became Toxic in Flint, Michigan"; " Seas Are Rising at Fastest Rate in Last 28 Centuries." If these recent headlines are any indication, environmental woes are mounting despite decades of attempts to reverse ecological devastation.
As I write this, Pacific Islanders in Vanuatu are left picking up the pieces after the worst natural disaster in recent memory ripped through the region. Vanuatu's president referred to Cyclone Pam as a "monster," a storm that singlehandedly leveled the capital city leaving at least sixteen confirmed dead and countless others displaced.