Greenpeace International, along with WWF International and the Centre for International Environmental Law, sent letters to major insurance firms and 35 fossil fuel and other carbon major companies today, asking whether they believed that company directors promoting climate denial should be held personally liable for its consequences.
Worldwide, just 90 carbon producers are responsible for more than half of the greenhouse gases that cause global climate change: that's an incredible 63% of estimated global industrial emissions. Fifty of these companies are publicly traded and investor-owned companies.
While these companies profit, people everywhere pay the price.
Communities around the planet are fighting back as it becomes clearer by the day that while the impacts of climate change are starting to wreak havoc, money continues to be made from the business of climate change.
Commentators are now predicting that an increasing number of legal actions will be brought against fossil fuel companies as the impacts of climate change bite deeper.
We're curious how insurance companies see this situation. For instance, do they know whether they are providing insurance cover to company directors who may be sued for engaging in organized climate denialism?
Similarly, fossil fuel company directors should be asking themselves: "will my insurer pay the bill for my climate denialism, or is my own house on the line here?"
Greenpeace, WWF and the Center for International Environmental Law have just posted letters to 35 fossil fuel companies and more than 45 insurance companies to ask these questions – and we would like some answers! Take a look at the list of companies and insurers, and stay tuned for updates on how they respond, and information on how you can get involved. Please this share with your networks on Facebook and Twitter -- the more people ask questions, the more likely it is that these companies will be forced to deal with this issue – and the issue of climate change.
Leanne Minshull is a Climate and Energy Campaigner at Greenpeace International.