Corporate climate change litigation: Increasing heat on boardrooms?

– Payal Agarwal and Neha Sinha |

The importance of ESG aspects in the corporate world does not need an introduction in the current scenario. As the concept travels from the global conferences to the corporate boardrooms, so do the risks and opportunities of the same. Climate change has evolved from an “ethical, environmental” issue to one that presents foreseeable financial and systemic risks (and opportunities) over mainstream investment horizons, as discussed in detail in the Fiduciary Duties and Climate Change in the United States published by Commonwealth Climate and Law Initiative (CCLI). The corporate laws provide a general duty of the directors towards the protection of the environment, and therefore, directors cannot deny their responsibilities towards the same. The same has been dealt with at length in our writeup “Directors’ Liability towards Climate Change: Why Boards should be bothered”.

In this article, the authors try to look at the kinds of litigation in the field of climate change where corporations have been held accountable and identify the potential of litigation risks and the extent to which the directors of a company can be held liable for the climate change actions.

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