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On 27 June 2019, the UK became the first major economy to pass laws to end its contribution to global warming by 2050. This requires the UK to reduce all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero. Climate change has become a concern that can no longer be ignored so the UK’s implementation of international climate obligations is positive.
We have taken a look at some of the HSE focus areas and key developments emerging over recent months.
Notwithstanding the unprecedented challenges that 2020 has brought, environmental issues remain at the top of the political agenda. In recent years an increased awareness of the climate crisis has triggered tougher environmental regulation in the UK.
After 197 countries signed the Paris Agreement in 2015, there has been a call for industries to solidify proposals to tackle climate change. Additionally, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the effects that these industries have had on the environment.
We are pleased to announce that the publication of the 2021 edition of The Legal 500 UK has seen us ranked as a ‘top-tier firm’ in nine practice areas.
It is estimated that extreme weather events cost the world US$150 billion in 2019. In Canada, insurers are facing mounting pressure to re-evaluate traditional products which often insufficiently respond to the property losses experienced by their insureds as a result of natural disasters such as the recent hail storm in Calgary which led to estimated losses of $1.2bn.
Insurers must balance the income from insuring and investing in fossil fuel projects against the growing reputational and litigation risks.
One of the key issues in environmental coverage disputes between insurers and policyholders is the question of allocation. The two predominate applications concerning this issue involve determining whether the insurers will be allocated responsibility for payment of a claim on a pro rata basis or on an “all sums” basis.
Historically, difficulties in proving a causal link between air pollution and poor health have kept at bay pollution related claims and governments’ accountability. However, this may be about to change.
London Market casualty insurers are experiencing increased notifications for climate change related tort claims pursued against “Big Oil” defendants in the USA and other jurisdictions. We outline the headline policy coverage issues arising from these claims and whether the experience of other jurisdictions will be replicated in the UK.