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'We should be on the offensive' – James Hansen calls for wave of climate lawsuits

'We should be on the offensive' – James Hansen calls for wave of climate lawsuits17-11-2017 14:17
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Former Nasa scientist James Hansen says the litigate-to-mitigate campaign is needed alongside political mobilisation because judges are less likely than politicians to be in the pocket of oil, coal and gas companies.

"The judiciary is the branch of government in the US and other countries that is relatively free of bribery. And bribery is exactly what is going on," he told the Guardian on the sidelines of the UN climate talks in Bonn...

... For Hansen, the key is to make the 100 big "carbon majors" – corporations like ExxonMobil, BP and Shell that are, by one account, responsible for more than 70% of emissions – pay for the transition to cleaner energy and greater forests. Until governments make them do so by introducing carbon fees or taxes, he says, the best way to hold them to account and generate funds is to sue them for the damage they are doing to the climate, those affected and future generations...

...Hansen believes Donald Trump's actions to reverse environmental protections and withdraw from the Paris accord may be a blessing in disguise because the government will now find it harder to persuade judges that it is acting in the public interest.
Edited on 17-11-2017 14:18
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