[MCN] Have bankers lent money to build or buy homes in fire's way?

Lance Olsen lance at wildrockies.org
Wed Aug 2 08:32:10 EDT 2017

How Climate Change Can Get You Sued
July 26 2017

https://www.bna.com/climate-change-sued-n73014462335/ <https://www.bna.com/climate-change-sued-n73014462335/>

From Toxics Law Reporter <https://www.bna.com/toxics-law-reporter-p5947/>
Toxics Law Reporter™ delivers the most comprehensive, authoritative, and objective coverage of significant developments in toxic tort, hazardous waste, and related insurance litigation, all with…

By David Schultz <mailto:dschultz at bna.com>
1st 3 paragraphs

The climate is changing and so are the legal risks it will pose.

That’s the prediction from professionals in fields ranging from architecture to investing to banking to insurance. They say both firms and individuals in these fields will have to grapple with new types of lawsuits as the flooding, sea-level rise, and other consequences of climate change become more pronounced.

The companies and individuals victimized by these extreme weather events will increasingly be heading to the courts to try to be made whole, according to Daniel Kreeger, director of the Association of Climate Change Officers. And, he said, traditional “act of God” clauses in contracts might not fully protect the defendants in these suits as the consequences of climate change begin to seem less random.

Excerpt on banks, lending

The banking industry also faces the prospect of more litigation in the future as a result of climate-related incidents, according to Kreeger.

He says these lawsuits will likely take the form of a lender suing an insolvent borrower after collateralized assets are destroyed. For example, Kreeger said, a bank will have few options other than litigation if it lends a company money to build a factory that is subsequently inundated by a climate-triggered flood.

“What legal recourse does a lender have if a large number of people have no hope of paying?” Kreeger said.

Boston Common Asset Management, a firm that focuses on socially responsible investing, has been tracking the banking industry’s exposure to climate-related risks and has issued reports <http://src.bna.com/qRy> that found the industry isn’t as prepared as it should be.

https://www.bna.com/climate-change-sued-n73014462335/ <https://www.bna.com/climate-change-sued-n73014462335/>
"It is solar energy that moves the rabbit, the deer, the whale, the boy on the bicycle outside my window, my pencil as I write these words."

"Only about a tenth of 1 percent of the energy received from the sun by the earth is fixed by photosynthesis .... Worldwide it is about the equivalent to the annual production of between 150 and 200 billion tons of dry organic matter….”

"The worldwide increase of human numbers ... requires that a growing fraction of the total energy fixed be diverted to the direct support of man."

“The broad pattern of these changes is clear enough.”

Woodwell, George. "The Energy Cycle of the Biosphere.”  Scientific American. September, 1970


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