What Impact Will The Next Administration Have On Climate Litigation?

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s victory in the race for the White House could have major implications for the climate litigation campaign as he vowed during the campaign to support these lawsuits as president and he’s already under pressure from environmental activist groups to make good on that pledge.

To date, every climate lawsuit that’s been decided on its merits – the cities of San Francisco and Oakland and New York City along with the New York Attorney General and Juliana v. United States – has ended in a comprehensive defeat for the plaintiffs. In fact, the only thing the New York Attorney General’s case proved was that the “Exxon Knew” theory was complete bunk. Still, dozens of lawsuits remain outstanding, with at least one set to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court next year.

So, what exactly will the next administration mean for the future of climate litigation? A review of the campaign’ platform and chatter by activist groups gives us a few clues, including potential legal and political hurdles.

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