Oil and power companies could face litigation by those affected by climate change, according to a leading climate expert.

As reported in the Guardian, Myles Allen, a physicist at Oxford University has suggested that those affected by the adverse weather conditions linked to climate change may be able to hold oil and power companies to account for extreme weather.

Allen said: “We are starting to get to the point that when an adverse weather event occurs we can quantify how much more likely it was made by human activity. And people adversely affected by climate change today are in a position to document and quantify their losses. This is going to be hugely important."

Allen has been investigating whether global warming worsened the UK floods in autumn 2000 which caused £1bn damage and saw 11,000 people evacuated from their homes.

The physicist has run two computer models to simulate the conditions that led to extreme weather events. One model includes human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases, while the other assumes the industrial revolution never occurred.

Allen is due to publish his findings but would not comment on the results ahead of publication.