skip to main content
Back to all blog posts

Posted in: Climate Change / Renewables

Apr 5, 2018

Ontario NDP Introduce Climate Liability Bill

By Zoë Thoms

The Ontario NDP recently introduced Bill 21, Liability for Climate-Related Harms Act, 2018. This private members bill would impose strict liability on fossil fuel producers for damages arising from climate change harms, including:

  • economic loss or physical loss of property, infrastructure, structures, resources or other assets;
  • costs associated with obtaining and maintaining insurance in respect to such losses;
  • death, injury, illness or other physical or psychological harms and costs associated with treating or caring for persons suffering from them;
  • ·ocean acidification;
  • loss of land or damage to infrastructure due to rising sea levels;
  • costs of monitoring, research and analysing the climate and the weather;
  • costs of responding to emergencies arising from natural disasters associated with climate change;
  • costs of constructing, renovating, repairing or improving infrastructure in order to minimize such harms and costs; and
  • costs of carrying out public education campaigns to inform the public about reducing and avoiding such harms and costs.

Bill 21 also addresses the evidence needed to prove causation for losses arising from climate change. The Bill provides that where it is alleged that a particular weather event, food or other event was caused by climate change, evidence that climate change has doubled the likelihood of that type of event occurring is sufficient to demonstrate, on the balance of probabilities, that the event was caused by climate change or that climate change worsened the impact of the event.

Climate change lawsuits have been filed in other jurisdictions. In January of this year, the New York City government filed suit against the world’s five largest publicly-traded oil companies seeking compensation for present and future damage to the city arising from climate change. In 2017 in California, two coastal counties and one coastal city filed similar lawsuits against fossil fuel-producing companies for damages related to rising sea levels.

Bill 21 has passed first reading. Its future will likely be determined by the upcoming provincial election.

Areas of Expertise

Related Categories

Related Blogs

Posted in: Ontario | Climate Change / Renewables

Insights EnergyInsider
Environmental Commission of Ontario reports that LTEP Ignores Climate Law By Zoë Thoms Apr 23, 2018 The Ontario government’s 2017 Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP) is not consistent with its obligations under climate change mitigation law, according to a progress report issued by the Environmental Commission of Ontario (ECO) on April 9, 2018.

Posted in: Ratemaking | Climate Change / Renewables | British Columbia

Insights EnergyInsider
British Columbia Utilities Commission Launches Inquiry to Review Regulation of Electric Vehicle Charging By Zoë Thoms Mar 13, 2018 The British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) recently established an inquiry to review the regulation of electric vehicle (EV) charging services in the province.  The inquiry evolved out of an application by FortisBC Inc. for approval of a $9.00 per half hour EV charging rate for servic...

Posted in: Ontario | Energy Policy | Climate Change / Renewables

Insights EnergyInsider
All Current Allowances Sold Out in Ontario’s First Joint Cap and Trade Auction By David Stevens Mar 06, 2018 On February 28, 2018, the Summary Results Report from the first joint cap and trade auction involving Ontario, Quebec and California was released. The report shows that all current vintage allowances from each of the three jurisdictions were sold in the February 21, 2018 auction. Additionally, ar...