Climate Liability June 2019 update

Ninth Circuit Judges Appear Skeptical About Courts’ Role in Kids Climate Suit The 21 young people suing the U.S. government for exacerbating climate change finally got one day in court. Their trial remains derailed, but their lawyers did get to urge the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to let it go forward. The three-judge panel understood the urgency of the climate crisis, sparing no criticism of the Trump administration and Congress for their handling of it, but they seemed extremely cautious about the prospect of the judicial branch stepping in. “You present compelling evidence that we have a real problem,” said Judge Andrew D. Hurwitz. “You present compelling evidence that we have inaction by the other two branches of government. It may even rise to the level of criminal neglect. But the tough question for me is do we get to act because of that.” Their decision on whether the case proceeds to trial is expected in the next few months.
Awaiting: Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on pre-trial appeal of Juliana v. United States.
Awaiting: Ruling by the Second Appeals Court in Texas on whether Exxon can proceed with a lawsuit against California cities suing the company for climate damages.
Awaiting: Hearings by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City’s appeal of the dismissal of its climate liability suit against five oil companies. In support of the city’s appeal, a group of Democratic state attorneys general, a local government group, a legal expert and local environmental groups have submitted friend-of-the-court briefs and both sides have now submitted briefs.
Awaiting: Hearings to be scheduled after all motions submitted on remand issues in the California climate lawsuits, on appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Delayed until August or September: The Philippines Commission on Human Rights will reveal the results and recommendations of its investigation into the fossil fuel industry’s liability for human rights violations stemming from climate change. The commission recently concluded its final hearings in Manila. 
A new report details the state of climate litigation in the U.S. Columbia Law School’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law has compiled the U.S. Climate Change Litigation in the Age of Trump: Year Two, written by Dena P. Adler. The report categorizes the cases and reports on their progress and trends. You can read the executive summary here.
Climate change’s deadliest impact—extreme heat—is already plaguing cities and is expected to get markedly worse as the planet heats more. A new study shows that even holding global warming to half a degree below 2 degrees Celsius can save thousands of lives in every city. City Lab reports on the human costs