October 1, 2022

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Canada. Vancouver wants to sue oil companies after fire destroys Lytton

In 2021, Lytton perished in a fire due to extreme heat. The Vancouver administration is seeking damages from the oil companies.

  • In the summer of 2021, British Columbia was hit by an exceptional heat dome.
  • A fire litton destroyed the entire city.
  • Now the city of Vancouver wants to sue the oil companies for damages caused by climate change.

Whose fault is it when an entire region is hit by an exceptional heat dome for days? Whose fault is it if these extreme temperatures, more than any recorded in history, kill hundreds of people and destroy a city in devastating fires? Administration Vancouver There seem to be clear ideas: therein lies the fault Oil companies. It has released billions of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere over the decades, contributing significantly to global warming. So it has been decided to take legal action against them.

Vancouver, Canada. Much of British Columbia is hit by an exceptional heat wave in summer 2021 © Bruce Bennett / Getty Images

What happened to Lytton, the symbol of summer 2021 in Canada

Summer 2021 in Canada is nothing out of the ordinary. High temperatures were recorded in large parts of the island in late June and early July British Columbia619 deaths and several million dollars in damage. A complete record is reached LyttonThe country of 250 souls is not far from Vancouver. On June 29, the mercury reached 49.6 degrees Celsius: a record high in Canadian history.

Within days of Lytton nothing was left. A destroyed it fire, favored by hot and dry climates and spread by strong winds. Since then, time seems to stand still and we read The New York TimesBecause the town It was not rebuilt. A fence prevents access to long stretches of debris, charred trees and collapsed walls. A bleak scenario for what climate change can cause.

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The Vancouver administration sued the oil companies

Vancouver It has a strong environmental history: Greenpeace, one of the most famous and important international NGOs, was born there more than half a century ago. The city administration has decided to put faith in this soul and is starting the preliminary process for the same Bring the big oil companies to court. The aim is to force them to compensate for the damages caused by climate change at the local level. This is the first legal action of its kind in Canada.

The trade association’s response seems to be anger Canadian oil producers. “To sue an industry that has invested billions of dollars in British Columbia for decades, created thousands of jobs and brought billions of dollars in revenue to the state to fund health, infrastructure and social programs across the country. An email from a spokesperson – is not an efficient use of taxpayer money.

Lawyers think a little differently. According to them, companies have known for a long time that fossil fuels can have a catastrophic effect on the climate. Nevertheless, they continued to protect their interests. Now they have to pay Extreme weather events They are jointly responsible for it.

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