The City of Victoria voted to endorse exploring the initiation of a class action lawsuit against fossil fuel industry giants. The suit would seek retroactive costs associated with damage caused by burning fossil fuels.
In a motion passed eight-to-one at city council on Thursday, council voted to support the idea at the upcomingUnion of BC Municipalities (UBCM) and the Association of Vancouver Island Coast Communities (AVICC) meetings. The endorsement favours aclass action lawsuit “on behalf of member local governments to recover costs arising from climate change from major fossil fuels corporations”.
The motion also asks the province to consider legislation to support local governments in recovering these costs.
This means the City will begin tracking costs associated with climate change, and include these in a presentation prepared for the annual update of the Climate Leadership Plan.
“I think as we see the impacts of climate change coming more and more apparent, this type of action becomes an all-the-more appropriate step for municipalities to safeguard the financial interests of our residents by seeking to recover costs arising from climate change from the companies that have profited for the burning of fossil fuels,” said Coun. Ben Isitt.
“The other actions allow us to quantify the amount of damage the city has been experiencing and also opening the door to working with other local governments to explore potential legal proceedings to help recover these costs.”
The next UBCM meeting will be on Sept. 23-27 and the next AVICC meeting will be April 12-14.
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