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121 Yale L.J. F. 115 (2011-2012)
Climate Justice and the Elusive Climate Tort

handle is hein.journals/yljfor121 and id is 115 raw text is: 


Climate Justice and the Elusive Climate Tort

    The Supreme  Court's decision in American Electric Power Co. v. Connecticut
(AEP)' closes another door for those most vulnerable to climate change. The
corrective justice goals of tort law and the associated possibilities for redress -
particularly vital to the most vulnerable -remain elusive due to the Court's
restricted view of tort law's relevance to climate change. This Essay analyzes
these climate justice implications ofAEP.
    The field of climate justice (CJ) is concerned with the intersection of race
and/or indigeneity, poverty, and climate change. It also recognizes the direct
kinship between  social inequality and environmental degradation.' The term
climate vulnerable, the subject of CJ, describes those communities or nation-
states that have a particularly acute exposure to present and forecasted climatic
changes. That increased vulnerability is due to either the nature and degree of
climate impacts' forecast and/or the preexisting socioeconomic vulnerabilities
that climate impacts amplify.' Underscoring the justice element, these most
vulnerable populations are also the least responsible for the emissions that fuel
anthropogenic climate change.
    The Essay  argues that the common   law nuisance claims rejected by the
Court in AEP  provide an important  mechanism  for the climate vulnerable to
achieve corrective justice. Corrective justice is one of the most important goals
of tort law because of its focus on the relationship between the tortfeasor and
victim. While there are myriad interpretations of corrective justice theory and

1.  131 S. Ct. 2527 (2011).
2.  See Maxine Burkett, Just Solutions to Climate Change: A Climate Justice Proposal for a Domestic
    Clean Development Mechanism, 56 BUFF. L. REv. 169,193 (2008).
3.  See Maxine Burkett, Climate Reparations, 10 MELB. J. INT'LL. 509,513-14 (2009).


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