U.S. Supreme Court To Take Up Baltimore Climate Case In Potential Blow To Litigation Campaign

On Friday, the United States Supreme Court announced that it will review the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling that Baltimore’s climate change lawsuit against energy producers should be heard in state court, a move that could deal a fatal blow to the entire climate litigation campaign.

While the issue before the court is procedural in nature, its resolution could help answer an essential question present in the more than twenty municipal climate change lawsuits so far filed across the country: should these cases be litigated in federal or state court?

The energy companies filed a petition before the Supreme Court in March, after the Fourth Circuit affirmed a lower court’s ruling that Baltimore’s case belonged in state court. The plaintiffs, and the activist groups supporting them, believe their chance of success greatly increases if these cases are heard in state court – something they’ve fought to make happen.  Considering this, the Supreme Court’s decision to review the question of jurisdiction has the potential to shake up the entire climate litigation campaign.

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