US fossil fuel companies facing legal action for misleading disclosure of climate risk: could it happen in Australia

Anita Foerster, Jacqueline Peel

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticleOther


There have been a number of recent enforcement actions in the United States alleging that major fossil fuel companies, such as ExxonMobil and Peabody Coal, have not adequately or appropriately disclosed the risks posed to their businesses by climate change, as required under U.S. federal securities law. Australian company and securities law is broadly similar to that in the United States. As confirmed by a recent legal opinion issued by Sydney barristers Noel Hutley SC and Sebastian Hartford-Davis for the Centre for Policy Development and the Future Business Council, Australian listed companies have obligations to disclose material business risks posed by climate change, with potential liability implications for company directors who fail to consider and disclose foreseeable climate risks. This article explores recent developments in the United States and the likelihood of similar actions in Australia.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
Specialist publicationAustralian Environment Review
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes

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