Baltimore, Boulder, San Francisco discussed on All Things Considered

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Secretary general Antonio Guterres opened the meeting by challenging countries to make bold plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions immediately we can do it limiting warming to one point five degrees is still possible. but if you require fundamental transformations in all aspects of society are we go foods use lands full all transport and followed economies all of that to put the brakes on greenhouse gas emissions and beyond debating a planned summer also beginning to wrestle with the big question who is responsible for the effects of global warming NPR's Rebecca Herschel reports that a growing number of lawsuits seek to answer that question there are about a dozen significant lawsuits against oil companies in the US right now Michael Berger runs the Sabin center for climate change law at Columbia University all these lawsuits have been filed in the last couple of years there is the one filed by the state of Rhode Island against twenty one companies including Exxon B. P. shell and chevron there the cases filed by the cities of San Francisco Oakland and Baltimore and by San Miguel and boulder counties in Colorado and in each case the city or state or county is suing one or more fossil fuel companies over the impacts of climate change it's a wide range of impacts many of the lawsuits to focus on sea level rise and coastal storms but it also includes drought wildfire flooding in Colorado the lawsuits allege that the oil companies should help pay for the cost of dealing with all of that now and in the future because the cases allege oil companies have known for a long time that burning fossil fuels causes global warming in an email to NPR a spokesperson for the main oil industry trade group wrote in part that the industry is quote actively addressing the complex global challenge of climate change through robust investment in technology innovation.

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