Climate change will impact almost every area of commercial litigation


Here’s the intro from this memo by Quinn Emanuel:

As the asserted effects of climate change have become more pronounced, climate-related litigation is multiplying, both in the increasing number of cases being filed worldwide and the increasingly diverse avenues through which claimants are pursuing relief. The Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University puts the global climate change caseload at well over 2,550 cases—over two-thirds of which have been filed in the last 10 years. Although the United States continues to be the most popular forum for climate-change cases (with over 600 such cases filed since 2018), litigation in Europe has already been a key driver towards altering business practices. International tribunals such as the Court of Justice of the European Union, where over 40 cases have been filed, and courts in the Global South, where more than 130 cases have been filed, are becoming key battlegrounds.

Overall, more than 55% of climate cases have produced judicial outcomes that further incentivizes litigation. As climate change jurisprudence has matured, previously unsettled justiciability and jurisdictional questions have been clarified. However, whether it is possible and permissible to apportion or attribute liability to a particular state, company, or practice remains an open issue, particularly given the dearth of cases that have gone to trial and reached appellate review.