Who pays the bill for climate denial?

by Leanne Minshull

May 28, 2014

Houses lie in ruins on the New Jersey shore in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

© Greenpeace / Tim Aubry

Greenpeace International, along with WWF International and the Centre for International Environmental Law, sent letters to major insurance firms and 35 fossil fuel companies. We wanted to know one thing: Did they believe that leaders of companies who promote climate denial should be held personally liable for the consequences of climate change?

Worldwide, just 90 carbon producers are responsible for 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.

Fires burn in Lavallette in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy on the New Jersey coast.

Fires burn in Lavallette in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy on the New Jersey coast.

But 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. Oil companies are consistently among the most profitable in all of business.

Experts now predict thatan increasing number of legal actions will be brought against fossil fuel companiesas 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?

Aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines

Damaged areas along the coast in Tacloban City after Typhoon Haiyan.

And fossil fuel company directors should be asking themselves if their insurers will foot the bill for their climate denialism, or if they are actually putting their homes and assets on the line.

Take a look at the list of companies and insurers, and stay tuned for updates on how they respond, as well as information on how you can get involved. Please this share with your networks on Facebook and Twitter. The more people who ask questions, the more likely it is that these companies will be forced to deal with this issue and the issue of climate change.

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