Registered: Jan 2003
Local time: 05:01 AM
Heatwave Study May Fuel Global Warming Lawsuits
|A study of a 2003 heatwave in Europe may give Pacific islanders and environmentalists new ammunition for legal cases blaming the United States for global warming, advocates said on Thursday.
Claims linked to climate change could dwarf billion-dollar awards against tobacco companies if U.N. forecasts to 2100 of rising temperatures, higher sea levels, catastrophic storms and droughts turn out to be true, they said.
The conclusion is a shift from studies saying that everything from more frequent hurricanes to floods could simply be statistical freaks even though they are consistent with U.N. projections of warming caused by a build-up of greenhouse gases.
Among other cases, eight U.S. states and New York City filed suit against five U.S. power companies in July, accusing them of stoking climate change. The firms have asked for the case to be dismissed, arguing that climate change is a matter for the president and Congress.