With climate change already costing our communities, it’s important for elected officials to understand their options. Thank you for taking the time to reach out and get more information.
This page includes some links to resources that relate to both resolutions. However, if you have questions that are not answered, please do contact us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to chat further.
Resolution 136 (text here) asks the UBCM to support and work with local governments that want to explore a class action lawsuit to recover local climate costs from global fossil fuel companies. This does not commit anyone to bringing litigation – but will simply help local governments that want to understand their legal options.
Both West Coast Environmental Law and Georgia Strait Alliance have prepared resources about class action lawsuits for climate costs which may be of help.
- Suing fossil fuel giants: An Introduction for Local Governments (West Coast Environmental Law)
- A Class Action Lawsuit (Georgia Strait Alliance)
Resolution 137 (text here) asks the Province of British Columbia to enact laws to clarify the legal responsibility of global fossil fuel companies for climate harm caused in BC. Such legislation would be similar to the laws enacted by BC in relation to harm from tobacco and opioids, which paved the way for lawsuits to recover taxpayer dollars. Such legislation is being considered in other jurisdictions, such as Ontario, where the Legislature debated a “Liability for Climate-related Harms Act” (ultimately defeated by the current government).
West Coast Environmental Law has written about legislation to hold fossil fuel companies accountable.
- Ontario climate bill blazes a trail for fossil fuel polluter liability (blog post)
- Taking Climate Justice into our own Hands: A Model Climate Compensation Act
Be in touch.
We’d love to have your support for Resolutions 136 and 137. Please let us know what other information you may need (again, our emails are email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org). If you’d prefer an in person meeting, we will both be at UBCM (Andrew in the venue, and Anna in the vicinity).
Hope to speak with you further about these important resolutions.
West Coast Environmental Law
Georgia Strait Alliance
Text of Resolutions
B136 Recovering Municipal Costs Arising from Climate Change
Whereas local governments are incurring substantial costs in relation to the impacts of climate change, including volatile weather patterns, drought, wildfires, erosion and other impacts;
And whereas it is fiscally prudent to recover these costs from corporations that have profited from the burning of fossil fuels, with knowledge that these economic activities contribute to climate change:
Therefore be it resolved that UBCM explore the initiation of a class action lawsuit on behalf of member local governments to recover costs arising from climate change from major fossil fuels corporations;
And be it further resolved that the Province of British Columbia consider legislation to support local governments in recovering costs arising from climate change from major fossil fuel corporations.
B137 Climate Accountability
Whereas an overwhelming scientific consensus maintains that climate change, the single greatest threat to the future of the planet, is due primarily to the human use of fossil fuels, which release carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the air;
And whereas fossil fuel producers are collectively responsible through their operations and products for almost 30 per cent of human-caused greenhouse gases, and taxpayers are bearing the entire burden of the climate costs caused by fossil fuels, while fossil fuel producers continue to make significant profit from selling them:
Therefore be it resolved that the Province of British Columbia Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy be called upon to enact legislation that holds fossil fuel companies financially liable for climate-related harms caused by their contributions to climate change.