企業因氣候變遷而生損害賠償責任之成立可能性及其風險管理─以美國法律與實務為中心

張冠群;李慧芳

中文摘要

溫室效應肇生之氣候變遷對人類生存與生活之風險,各國間除以立法或行政手段對其內國主要溫室氣體排放者或溫室氣體排放產品製造者為管制外,亦透過國際協定冀達成全球溫室氣體減量之目標,俾終局緩和全球暖化。然於一國國內立法未臻完足,該國又因經濟利益考量而對國際溫室氣體減量協定之參與未必積極之情況下,因氣候變遷所伴隨現象甚或災害而受損害之政府或私人,得否如環境汙染之公害般,透過司法手段尋求救濟,尤其以侵權行為為原因而對溫室氣體排放者或溫室氣體產品製造人提起訴訟?以美國為例,前開以溫室氣體排放者或溫室氣體產品製造人為被告提起之侵權行為訴訟,非僅紙上談兵,而正方興未艾。此些訴訟一旦確定企業將因排放溫室氣體或製造溫室氣體排放產品而成立公害之侵權責任,弗論其判決係要求企業之負損害賠償或限制企業未來之溫室氣體排放或產品之製造,對企業言,均屬新型態之「法律風險」,乃企業於傳統安排風險分散或管理機制時所未預見者。然因此類風險可能肇生之損失與額外費用成本之支出均非可謂不鉅,此觀環境汙染訴訟終法院判決之賠償金額與應支出之清理成本即一目了然。準此,企業面對此一新型態風險之管理機制攸關企業之生存與永續之競爭力,如何針對氣候變遷責任安排適切之風險管理策略與方法,至關重要。本文就美國近年針對溫室氣體排放相關活動之私人企業或主管機關提起之訴訟詳為分析,俾確立企業因氣候變遷所生損害賠償責任成立之可能性並自理論面進一步確證氣候變遷侵權責任之成立可能;於確認責任成立可能性後,再探索氣候變遷侵權訴訟之潛在被告可採之風險管理策略,並針對以保險方式分散風險之可能性與阻礙詳為剖析,最末則於第五部分提出結論與建議,冀得於企業面對氣候變遷而生新興法律風險之認知與風險治理,有棉薄之助益。

 

The Potentiality of the Climate Change Liability Risk Facing Enterprises and its Management – A Study on the Laws and Practices of the United States

Kuan-Chun Chang ;Hui-Fang Li

abstract

Global climate change is the greatest environmental challenge facing the world today. Where the government fails to enact legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, states and private parties cannot avoid to pursue alternative avenues for addressing greenhouse gas emissions. One such avenue is climate change litigation, pursued by both states and private parties. These claims rely mainly on the common law especially the tort law to address climate change-related harms and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In the United States, several such law suits have been filed against various greenhouse gas emitters as well as auto manufacturers. While some of which were dismissed based on the doctrine of political question which indicates that claims of this type lacks of judicially discoverable and manageable standards, recent decisions such as Massachusetts, et al. v. EPA, Comer v. Murphy Oil USA Inc. and Connecticut et. al. v. Am. Electric Power Co. Inc. have denied the application of the political question doctrine and recognized the standing of the plaintiffs. These decisions create the potential tort liability of major greenhouse emitters. Facing such fresh legal risk, it is essential for enterprises to start seeking risk management tools available to them. As insurance is one of the most common mechanisms for risk transfer and risk distribution, it may be an appropriate alternative for greenhouse emitters to manage the climate change liability risk under the premise that such risk is insurable. Accordingly, this paper will first probe the possibility of the establishment of the climate change liability through observing recent Federal court cases. Meanwhile, this paper will also provide theoretical justification for such liability. After ascertaining the possibility of the climate change liability, this paper attempts to explore the potentiality of using insurance as a tool for managing such legal risk by determining the insurability of the climate change liability. Eventually, this paper will conclude with an affirmation of the possibility of climate change liability and the feasibility of managing it through insurance.