Home Class Action Lawsuits Vancouver councillor wants city to donate $600,000 toward class-action lawsuit against Big Oil

Vancouver councillor wants city to donate $600,000 toward class-action lawsuit against Big Oil

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Green party’s Adriane Carr wants up to $1 for each Vancouver resident to go toward the pending legal challenge

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EDITORS NOTE – AN EARLIER VERSION OF THIS STORY REPORTED ON THE ORIGINAL VERSION OF CARR’S MOTION THAT STATED THE MONEY WOULD GO TOWARD “WEST COAST ENVIRONMENTAL LAW’S CLASS-ACTION LAWSUIT.” CARR HAS AMENDED THE MOTION TO REFLECT THAT WCEL IS ADVOCATING FOR THE LAWSUIT BUT IS NOT CONDUCTING THE ACTION ITSELF OR RECEIVING FUNDING FROM MUNICIPALITIES.

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Green party councillor Adriane Carr has called on the City of Vancouver to donate up to $1 for every resident toward a class action lawsuit against fossil fuel companies, as urged by West Coast Environmental Law’s Sue Big Oil campaign.

In a motion going before council on Tuesday, Carr is asking her fellow councillors to direct staff to include in the draft 2023 operating budget money that would be used for the proposed lawsuit “with the goal of recovering costs they’ve borne to repair, adapt to and mitigate damages caused by climate change resulting primarily from the burning of fossil fuels”

According to the 2021 StatCan census Vancouver has 662,248 residents — so the money set aside for the pending legal battle would be up to $662,248.

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Last month, the Vancouver-based WCEL launched a campaign called “Sue Big Oil” to encourage municipalities to offer up to $1 per resident for a class-action lawsuit against the world’s largest fossil-fuel companies that it claims are responsible for the majority of carbon emissions worldwide.

In a statement, WCEL staff lawyer Andrew Gage said that the organization had no expectation that it would be paid by local governments or profit from the case.

“As evidenced by the local 2021 heat dome, atmospheric river, polar vortex and storm-driven king tide, the costs to repair damage resulting from climate change events are enormous,” Carr, a popular three-time councillor, wrote in her motion.

On Aug. 14, 2019, Mayor Kennedy Stewart wrote a letter to 20 of the world’s largest fossil-fuel companies (like BP, Exxon and Saudi Aramco) asking how each company “plans to contribute financially to the costs being borne by the residents of Vancouver as we continue to respond to the impacts of climate change.”

The letter was sent at the direction of council. The city has been asked whether Kennedy received any responses.

dcarrigg@postmedia.com


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