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MAP Releases 20-Year Timeline Tracing Climate Tort Litigation Campaign

As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear oral arguments on January 19 in its review of a key issue in Baltimore’s climate change case against energy manufacturers, the Manufacturers’ Accountability Project is releasing a comprehensive timeline of the baseless climate tort litigation campaign. The timeline summarizes the history of these cases and links to foundational documents, court filings and other materials relevant to these cases.

Tracing nearly 20 years of climate tort litigation, this timeline is intended to serve as a resource for interested parties seeking to educate and familiarize themselves with the history of this years-long campaign that has now landed—once again—before the Supreme Court. Though the question before the court is a procedural one related to federal jurisdiction that is common to all the climate tort cases, the last time the high court considered a climate tort case, it unanimously found that climate change was, in fact, not a tort litigation issue at all (AEP v. Connecticut, 2011).

This timeline is designed to accompany MAP’s recently released Beyond the Courtroom: Climate Tort Litigation in the United States report. It provides an in-depth examination of the sophisticated campaign to influence municipalities and others’ decisions to bring climate tort litigation against energy manufacturers, despite the fact that litigation will do nothing to address climate change.