Friday, August 26, 2005

Climate lawsuit moves forward

"The evidence is sufficient to demonstrate it is reasonably probable that emissions from projects supported by Opic and the Export-Import Bank will threaten plaintiffs' concrete interests" - US District Judge Jeffrey White.

This statement on 24 August looks like a significant development in the climate lawsuit (The judge's decision in full is here).

For context compare this from Myles Allen:

"This is not a lifestyle issue requiring detailed intervention in every aspect of our behaviour. It is a simple problem of waste disposal. The fossil-fuel industry has yet to implement an effective method of disposing of their key waste product, the carbon dioxide generated by the stuff they sell. As long as dumping it in the atmosphere was apparently harmless, it would have been a waste of their shareholders’ money for them to do so. But as the impacts of climate change become steadily more obvious, that situation is changing.

Past emissions of greenhouse gases, easily traceable to products sold or used by only a couple of dozen major corporations, very likely increased the risk of [damage by man made climate change] by at least a factor of two, and probably more like a factor between six and ten

(Allen is refering to the 2003 European heatwave, but the same principles apply even if the risk numbers may be different)

1 comment:

Caspar Henderson said...

US States Fight EPA on Greenhouse Gases
August 31, 2005

BOSTON - A group of US states Tuesday challenged a July court ruling upholding the Environmental Protection Agency's refusal to regulate greenhouse gas emission, a factor in global warming.

Led by Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly, the five states and the District of Columbia filed a petition asking the full US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to review the July decision by a panel of the court, which Reilly said "allowed (the EPA) to continue on its path of inaction."

"This case deals with one of the most serious environmental threats of our time," Reilly said in a statement. "Surely it warrants a decision by the full court."

The group, which includes the attorneys general of Maine, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia, said the EPA could not refuse to regulate greenhouse gases "simply because it opposes such regulation on policy grounds."

Last month, however, two judges on a panel of three upheld the EPA's refusal to do so, ruling the agency did not abuse its discretion. EPA officials did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

In 1999, environmental groups filed a petition asking the agency to set emission standards for greenhouse gases including carbon monoxide, a factor in global warming, but the EPA denied the petition four years later.

President Bush, who had made campaign promises to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, in 2001 said they were not air pollutants that could be regulated under the Clean Air Act. He also eschewed the Kyoto Protocol, the greenhouse gas reduction plan adopted by more than 150 countries.

Massachusetts, Maine and Rhode Island are three of nine Northeastern states currently working on a plan to reduce the level of greenhouse gas emissions from power plants by capping carbon dioxide emissions.