Unwelcome Outcomes For Organisations That Fail To Take Into Account Climate Legal Risk (Australia)

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We recently provided a client update on the Queensland Planning and Environment Court decision of Rainbow Shores P/L v Gympie Regional Council & Ors1 (view here). The decision in Rainbow Shores provides an example of what happens when there is a partial or complete failure to account for climate legal risk. The purpose of this update is to consider the implications for organisations, like state and local governments and private corporations, if they make the same mistake.

Climate legal risk explained -

Climate legal risk is the risk of legal liability or adverse legal outcomes that can arise when the impacts of climate change affect an organisation's operations.

The impacts are varied and can be direct, like those brought about by the increased intensity and frequency of flooding, bushfire and coastal hazards such as coastal erosion, storm tide and sea level rise inundation. But more often than not it is the indirect impacts, such as the risk of litigation, noncompliance with regulatory requirements, or insurance failure, that cause greater concern because they give rise to issues that can often be more difficult to resolve...

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