Five publicly-traded Canadian oil and gas companies could be incurring $2.4 billion per year in climate liability, according to a study released last week by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and West Coast Environmental Law.
The study found that the greatest risk for the five companies—EnCanada, Suncor, Canadian Natural Resources, Talisman, and Husky—is not litigation in Canada. “Because the impacts and causes of climate change are global, climate damages litigation could take place in, and apply the laws of, any of the countries where damage occurs,” CCPA reports.
“Fossil fuel companies and other large-scale greenhouse gas producers have contributed, globally, to trillions of dollars of damages related to climate change. As with tobacco companies in the 1980s, these producers are confident the law will not hold them responsible for these damages,” said co-author and WCEL Staff Counsel Andrew Gage. “But rising levels of climate damage, increasing scientific evidence about the links between emissions and the damage they cause, and an emerging public debate about who is financially responsible for this damage, could change the situation very quickly.”