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작성일 작성일 : 18-06-27 11:27          
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[VOX] 샌프란시스코와 오클란드, 기후변화에 대한 책임으로 5대 정유회사 소송
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A federal judge has dismissed two high-profile lawsuits filed by the cities of San Francisco and Oakland against the five largest investor-owned oil companies to try to make them pay for sea walls and other measures to protect the cities from the impacts of climate change.

The plaintiffs argued that fossil fuel companies are creating a public nuisance by mining and marketing products that emit greenhouse gases, and should be liable for the impacts. They are among 10 counties and cities that have sued oil companies for damages stemming from climate change like rising seas, increased wildfire risks, and lost economic activity.

While the oil companies acknowledged in March before the court that climate change is real and merits a response, they said it isn’t something that can be solved with a lawsuit. Instead, it needs legislation. This was the argument that swayed the judge presiding over the case, William Alsup of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

“There’s no court in the history of the universe that has ever extended this to global warming,” Alsup said at a hearing in May, where he also suggested that the harms of fossil fuels might have to be balanced against the benefits they yield to civilization.

The suits trod new ground and brought climate science into the courtroom

In March, the suits brought by San Francisco and Oakland made news when Alsup requested a tutorial on climate change science.

The defendants — BP, Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Shell, and ConocoPhillips — agreed that humanity is causing changes to the global climate and did not dispute the science. Climate activists hailed this as a major victory.

What happens next

The San Francisco and Oakland suits aren’t dead yet. The cities will likely appeal the ruling to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

At the same time, the lawsuits from other cities are still underway, but at different stages. A key fight is whether the cases should be heard in state court, which is what activists want, or in federal court, which is what the oil companies want.

While Alsup kept the San Francisco and Oakland cases in federal court, the cases filed by six other counties and cities in California were sent back to a state court by a different federal judge. It shows that courts don’t agree on how to handle these cases, which gives both sides a bit of wiggle room.

Litigants in the lawsuits filed by New York City, King County in Washington State, and in Colorado (City of Boulder, Boulder County, and San Miguel County), are still jostling over which courts should hear the cases.

Once a court is established for these suits, it’s likely that the oil companies will cite Alsup’s ruling as they request the cases to be dismissed, according to David Bookbinder, chief counsel at the Niskanen Center.

“[D]efendants will say Alsup got it right, plaintiffs will say why/how Alsup got it wrong, and what will be a lengthy legal process will go on,” he wrote in an email.

At the same time, oil companies seem to be sensing that the public supports stricter controls on carbon emissions and that the current political environment of weakening climate policy won’t last forever. That’s why oil lobbyists are now coming up with their own proposals to tax carbon dioxide, getting a head start on building a climate policy on their terms (and giving themselves immunity to climate lawsuits).

As the climate crisis worsens, there’s bound to be a lot more debate about oil companies’ liability, so stay tuned.


[전문보기: https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2018/6/26/17505800/san-francisco-oakland-climate-change-lawsuit] 


 
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