The main result of the October 2009 expert elicitation on climate change related litigation risks is an expected increase of claims frequency both for damage directly related to CO2 / GHG emissions and for damage indirectly caused by climate change. Among those experts who think that these claims are basically possible to grant, the majority expects the first successful claims to occur within the next six years.
The most promising concept claiming direct climate damages proved to be public nuisance, according to the experts’ evaluations. The proof of causality is rated to be the highest hurdle for plaintiffs in the case of damages claims, with the evaluation of the extent of liability coming second. If overcoming the hurdles is thought to be basically possible, the experts envisage this to happen relatively soon.
For damage indirectly caused by climate change, the experts think that the number of claims will increase most for claims based on the breach of duty to inform and report. Even though this kind of claims has only a low to moderate relevance for the insurance business today, experts expect a much higher relevance in 2020. Due to this a rise in demand for adequate insurance products is predicted.