Fossil fuel firms could be tried in US for homicide over climate-related deaths, experts say

(EurActiv, 21 Mar 2024) Public Citizen, a non-profit group, proposed the idea last year to prosecute companies for millions of deaths due to climate crisis.

Each year, extreme temperatures take 5 million lives, while 400,000 people die from climate-related hunger and disease and scores perish in floods and wildfires.

Now, researchers are promoting a new legal theory that says fossil fuel companies – which, data show, are the leading contributors to planet-heating pollution – could be tried for homicide for climate-related deaths.

The radical idea, first proposed last year by consumer advocacy non-profit Public Citizen, may sound far-fetched, but it’s gaining interest from experts and public officials.

“We’ve been really excited to see the curiosity, interest and support these ideas have garnered from members of the legal community, including from both former and current federal, state and local prosecutors,” said Aaron Regunberg, senior policy counsel with Public Citizen’s climate program.

The Public Citizen researchers are currently holding events at top law schools including Yale, the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard, University of Chicago and New York University to promote the idea.

External link

EurActiv, 21 Mar 2024: Fossil fuel firms could be tried in US for homicide over climate-related deaths, experts say