Major bankruptcy due to Climate Change

11 Feb 2019

The collapse of Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) which filed for bankruptcy protection on January 29, 2019 in Northern California bankruptcy Court under Chapter 11, has perhaps made it the biggest corporate victim of Climate Change.

 

Last year, the wildfires that devastated thousands of acres of California land and killed over one hundred of people now have pushed PG&E to bankruptcy with over USD 52 billion in debt.  While investigators are still unsure whether PG&E equipment started one of the wildfire, Camp Fire, the company may be held liable even if not found negligent.

 

But it's not just extreme weather events like fires and hurricanes — the risks to companies and industries come in many forms. Governments imposing drastic shifts in policy as a result of climate change could put some industries under increased threat. Companies such as Shell, BP are among those at risk from climate-driven demand from consumers for more ecological energy sources. Another growing threat is the fast growing climate change lawsuits against private companies for their role in climate change and the exacerbation of extreme weather. For example, the Philippines Human Rights Commission is investigating the responsibility of 47 "carbon major" companies for climate-related human-rights impacts.

PG&E is unlikely to be the last company to fall victim to climate change.

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