Chapter 17: Loss and damage in European litigation
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Climate change loss and damage is not just a future possibility but a present reality. Already, there are communities, individuals and legal entities that are suffering or experiencing such loss and damage. This includes concrete damage to property and health that is undoubtedly caused by anthropogenic climate change but extends to quantifiable risks that climate change already poses to certain individuals and their legal position. For instance, costs might be incurred by the need to protect crops or one's property against a strongly increased likelihood of extreme weather events. The chapter builds on case studies to examine how courts in Europe deal with climate change loss and damage. It analyzes both cases against state and against private defendants and identifies characteristic legal challenges in both constellations. The chapter concludes with some observations on both duties of states to protect and a new standard of care for corporate emitters. As the general provisions of both public law and civil (tort) law are based on the protection of individual legal positions, state and private obligations converge in the face of increasing climate change loss and damage.

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