A statue is seen under a solar halo in Santiago, Chile, December 18, 2017. PREUTERS/Ivan Alvarado
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A clutch of high-profile legal cases over responsibility for the effects of climate change will be fought out in courtrooms next year as claims stack up against both governments and some of the world's biggest oil and energy companies. Lawsuits in the United States brought by young activists and several Californian cities are most likely to make waves, but legal action by a Peruvian farmer in Germany and Greenpeace in Norway could also cause ripples, lawyers and academics said.In the federal case, scheduled for trial in February, the plaintiffs hope to establish that the government's climate change policies have failed to protect their constitutional right to live in a habitable environment.The case remains locked in legal limbo, however, as the government tries to block it from proceeding.HISTORY REPEATING?Some lawyers and researchers say claims seeking specific damages from energy and industrial companies for actions that may have contributed to climate change could have a bigger impact than constitutional cases.The knock-on effect of rulings on companies and governments could eventually be felt around the world, including in countries already struggling with climate change impacts.
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