The authors of a Climate Change Compensation Act propose that the document can be used, depending on one’s interpretation of the law, to either clarify the law related to climate change litigation or to alter the law to make climate litigation possible.
It starts with two concepts:
1. It has never been legal to knowingly destroy property, lives, and, indeed, entire nations – either in international law or national law.
2. A country has legal authority over harm that occurs within its borders, even if the causes of that harm are global.
The authors suggest that these two concepts open the door to a country’s courts making orders, and its government making laws, related to legal consequences of fossil fuel pollution - particularly as it relates to global sources of fossil fuel pollution from corporations; and further that they allow a country’s citizens to petition their own courts and tribunals under their own laws to hold global fossil fuel companies accountable for the harm that their product is causing.