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New climate science could cause wave of litigation against businesses – study

Experts say scientific advances are making it easier to attribute the damages of climate breakdown to companies’ activities

Previous attempts to take companies to court for their carbon output have often run into trouble, as courts have rejected links between companies’ activities and specific damage to the climate. Photograph: Charlie Riedel/AP

Businesses could soon be facing a fresh wave of legal action holding them to account for their greenhouse gas emissions, owing to advances in climate science, experts have warned.

More than 1,500 legal actions have already been brought against fossil fuel companies whose emissions over decades have played a major role in building up carbon in the atmosphere.

Last month, in a shock ruling, the multinational oil and gas company Shell was ordered by a court in the Netherlands to cut its emissions by 45% in the next decade. Shell has said it will appeal against the decision. Earlier this month, a Belgian court ruled that the government’s failure to tackle the climate emergency was an infringement of human rights. [continue]