Environmental Liability - Law, Policy and Practice - Volume 25 - Issue 4


Greenhouse gas emissions, litigation and reliance on scientific data
ZIA AKHTAR, Sussex University

The realm of tort law has been invoked in the determination of liability for multinational companies that have caused climate change. The companies that cause greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the extraction of oil and gas resources have been contaminating the earth’s atmosphere for a long time and global warming is the result. Fossil fuel companies now face challenges from litigants who have taken the step of litigating in those countries in which these trading concerns are registered. They must satisfy the locus standi, which isbased on their standing in a foreign jurisdiction. This has received encouragement from the private claim in Lliuya v RWE (Az 2O 285/15, OLG Hamm (24 January 2017)), where a Peruvian farmer sought to challenge the effects of RWE, Germany’s largest electricity producer for GHG emissions in their plant in Peru, and the legal action, although not successful, showed it was possible to bring a multinational firm to court and that liability can be apportioned. The advancement in science has led to event attribution of companies by correlating the source and extent of their contribution to pollution. It has now become more difficult to discredit climate science and the risks associated with the negligence of companies in allowing GHG emissions and they now face a threat of legal action known as ‘liability risk’ that will lead to more private litigation against the oil industry

The EU and carbon capture and storage technology: what next?
In March 2007, the European Council adopted an action plan on an energy policy for Europe,1 where it officially promoted the carbon capture technology and asked the Commission to come forward with a regulatory framework for carbon capture and storage (CCS). After some preparatory work from 2004, the Commission published a proposal for a directive in early 2008,4 which was adopted some 15 months later by the European Parliament and the Council. At present, in 2019, there is not one single installation for the storing of carbon dioxide in operation within the EU. Installations to demonstrate the technological, economic and environmental feasibility of the technology are also lacking. This article will discuss the reasons for this situation and will consider whether lessons may be learnt from the content of Directive 2009/31 and its application

Case Commentary 
Environmental protection after Brexit
ROSALIND ENGLISH, 1 Crown Office Row

A Hard look at the environmental rule of law
LESLIE CAROTHERS, Environmental Law Institute

The net zero target represents an audacious commitment by the UK government: the question is, how is the target going to be achieved?
ALEC WHITER, Burges Salmon.

Ofwat’s £126 million penalty on Southern Water in perspective