On 26 February 2008 Kivalina a 11 km long Native Alaskan village 120 km above the Arctic crcle, and of approximately 390 Inupiat residents, launched a federal lawsuit in California aimed at oil, coal and power companies . Namely, giants in the exploitative and destructive companies: Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Peabody Energy and Shell among others (24 companies in total)  .
The main argument of the Kivalina Natives is that the companies' contribution to global warming through their emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are causing damaging coastal storms and erosion that continuously swallows their land, which interferes with the plaintiffs’ rights to use and enjoy public and private property in Kivalina  . The village appeal to recover monetary damages, up to $400 million, for the cost of relocating the entire village as a result the companies' past and ongoing projects contributions to global warming" .
However, the defendant giants claimed that the court lacks jurisdiction to hear the case because the claim raises "non-justiciable political questions". They furthermore argued that the plaintiffs "did not have standing to bring the case because they cannot establish the causal link between the injuries complained of and the defendants’ acts". Moreover, the defendants argued that "the plaintiffs failed to state a claim recognised under law (climate change)". .
The Iñupiat (e.a. Native Village of Kivalina) people who inhabit Kivalina, live a largely subsistence lifestyle, their survival and identity are tied to their environment. But climate change threatens all that, they argued for the case. The Arctic has been warming twice as fast as the global average. In Kivalina, sea ice is disappearing earlier and forming later in the year, leaving the land more vulnerable to erosion and storms. One such storm in 2004 swept away a significant part of the island .
The district court initially dismissed the case because it believed the issue should be resolved by the executive or legislative branch. The district court also ruled that plaintiffs lacked standing because they could not prove the companies directly caused the harms .
In September 2012, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals also decided against the plaintiffs citing the “displacement doctrine,” finding that the Clean Air Act displaces federal common law in regards to climate change, because Kivalina sought monetary damages .
However, the Kivalina plaintiffs did have secondary claims which alleged that the fossil fuel companies deliberately misled the public on the science of climate change. The court also left the state law claim untouched and finally dismissed .
The Kivalina lawsuit was significant in that it was among the first climate suits (but certianly not the last) to raise the issue of deception by fossil fuel companies, a law expert stated. “I think it was a pretty successful lawsuit” ... “Even though it was dismissed, it helped raise awareness about what fossil fuel companies had done and continue to do to the environment and people and and centuries-old cultural practices   ”. Kivalina citizens didn’t have the status of disaster victims, as neither global warming nor coastal erosion and sea levels rise are officially considered as such .
The climate change consequences produced a displacement of the Kivalina residents due to its delicate location. It makes the inhabited enclave highly sensitive to rising sea levels – the product of global warming and melting Arctic ice -- meaning that the displacement of its population is inevitable. It was estimated that the relocation will cost about USD400 million, money the community does not hold, but required from the companies responsible for the changing climate  .
It has been decided is that, by 2019, work will start on a road to evacuate the locals . The budget for this road alone is US$55 million. Currently, the only way of getting to or from Kivalina is by light aircraft, available all year round, and, between June and October, by boat. In the event of flash floods or heavy swells, the population would be left with no safe escape route. Kivalina alreday lost over 11 hectares of land to coastal erosion .
it’s estimated the island will be completely submerged by 2025, and at present the village’s inhabitants lack the resources to relocate .
For the indigenous people of Kivalina, climate impacts struggle is not going away. Native people of Kivalina are "determined to move together as a community and maintain their culture and their traditional ways", they stated . They are appealing to the UN by January 2020. . together with other indigenous peoples in Louisiana also treatened with sea level rise.