On March 24, 2020, webinar participants heard from from three leading experts on the climate crisis and tort law about the growing movement of local and state governments, as well as small business owners and workers, seeking climate justice in state courts across the United States. The discussion of these climate justice lawsuits considered recent, ongoing, and prospective litigation, as well as the increasingly clear science showing that the harms of climate change are largely attributable to fossil fuel producers. Presenters also examined the legal, policy, and scientific challenges for plaintiffs, which include local governments in California, Colorado, Maryland, as well as the state of Rhode Island and the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations.
Speakers on the webinar included:
- CPR Member Scholar Alexandra Klass discussed the potential for climate damages lawsuits in Midwestern states and how the damages in such cases might differ from those in coastal states.
- Noah Oppenheim, who helms the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, discussed the latest research on the impacts of climate disruption on fisheries and shared his perspective on why climate torts are a critical tool for achieving justice and equity for members of the Pacific fishing industry.
- CPR Member Scholar Karen Sokol discussed recent developments in state climate torts in the context of other domestic and international climate litigation, as well as her legal and policy research on climate torts, which includes CPR’s recent report, Climate Justice: State Courts and the Fight for Equity.
- CPR Senior Policy Analyst David Flores moderated the discussion.
Download the slide deck here. Or watch the webinar below.