Saúl versus RWE - The Case of Huaraz

Saúl versus RWE - The Case of Huaraz

For the first time, a company responsible for climate change faces legal charges in Europe: Today, the Peruvian farmer and mountain guide Saúl Luciano Lliuya is filing a lawsuit against the German utility RWE at the Regional Court in Essen, Germany. The reason: The energy company’s immense emissions threaten his family, his property as well as a large part of his home city of Huaraz.

The "Case of Huaraz" at a glance

  • 24.11.2015: Saúl Luciano Lliuya files the lawsuit, which is classified by the District Court Essen as "a legal matter with fundamental significance".
  • June 2016: In its statement of defence, RWE disputes its own responsibility for climate change induced damage in the Andes and denies that Huaraz even faces a risk of flooding.
  • 24.11.2016: The first oral hearing takes place amid great national and international interest – the decision was adjourned.
  • 15.12.2016: The District Court Essen dismisses the civil lawsuit against RWE.
  • 26.01.2017: Saúl Luciano Lliuya files an appeal before the Higher Regional Court Hamm against the negative ruling of the Regional Court Essen.
  • 13.11.2017: The appeal at the Higher District Court Hamm is scheduled as an oral hearing.

Bild: Germanwatch Pressemitteilung
Pressemitteilung
13. November 2017

Higher Regional Court Hamm: Large emitters can be held legally responsible for climate change impacts

The 5th civil chamber of the Higher District Court Hamm (Germany) wrote legal history today. It gave a clear statement that large emitters like RWE are liable for supporting people in poorer countries affected by climate change. The climate-suit of Saul Luciano Lliuya will therefore enter into the next phase. On 30th November, the court is expected to formally announce its decision to enter into the evidentiary phase. At that point, it will be necessary to provide sufficient evidence in this specific case to prove that RWE must provide a financial contribution as Luciano Lliuya has demanded. The court's argument is of great significance for many people who suffer from climate change impacts. >> mehr
Justitia
Meldung
7. November 2017

Workshop on Climate Litigation in the margins of COP23

The pursuit of Climate Justice

How can we seek Climate Justice? How can we enforce rights and responsabilities? Find out, get involved. >> mehr
Bild: Germanwatch Pressemitteilung
Pressemitteilung
3. November 2017

Germany: Higher District Court Hamm hears "Climate Suit" against RWE

On November 13th the fifth Civil Senate of the Higher District Court Hamm will hear the case of the Peruvian mountain guide Saúl Luciano Lliuya against the German utility RWE

On November 13th (Monday) the fifth Civil Senate of the Oberlandesgericht (Higher District Court) of Hamm (Germany) will conduct an oral hearing in the appeal of the Peruvian farmer and mountain guide Saúl Luciano Lliuya. In this climate justice lawsuit, the core question is whether the energy corporation RWE may be held partially responsible for protective measures against climate change in the high Andes in Peru. There, the city of Huaraz is threatened by a flood wave from a glacial lake that has increased in volume as a result of climate change. The Landgericht (District Court) Essen rejected the civil law suit that is – so far - unique in Europe. The question is now whether the higher court will enter into the evidentiary phase which would establish a ground-breaking precedence. >> mehr
Huaraz, Palcacocha, Peru
Meldung
17. August 2017

YURAQ JANKA - A journey to Palcacocha

Photo project about the impacts of climate change in Peru

This is a photo story about individuals, communities and organizations facing the impacts of climate change in the Cordillera Blanca in Peru. Next to the climate lawsuit of Saúl Luciano Lliuya, this project shares insights from the 1941 glacier lake outburst flood in Huaraz as well as from the workers living at the camp below the Palcacocha glacier lake. >> mehr
Cover: Huaraz-Seite Lawsuit Factsheet
Publikation

First Climate Lawsuit Against Energy Company Before German Courts

The dimension of civil law in the Loss & Damage debate. How large greenhouse-gas emmiters can be held liable for the consequences of climate change. The example of the first climate lawsuit against an energy company before German courts. This factsheet presents the case of Saúl Luciano LLiuya against RWE and addresses the question of causality. >> mehr
Meldung
17. July 2017

Canada: Local government demands fossil fuel companies to pay their fair share of climate costs

The District of Highlands, a Southern Vancouver Island municipality (Canada) sent a "Climate Accountability Letter" to 20 of the world's largest fossil fuel companies – demanding them to pay their fair share of the climate costs suffered by the District. This initiative follows the approach of the climate lawsuit "Saúl Luciano LLiuya against RWE" which is supported by Germanwatch. >> mehr
Piktogramm Juristische Anmerkungen
Publikation

Liability for nuisance caused by climate change

Remarks on the decision by the District Court Essen from Dec 15, 2016 in Germany’s first climate lawsuit by Dr. Will Frank

To what extent must operators of power plants assume liability for consequences of climate change? This question is at the centre of a lawsuit in which a Peruvian farmer is suing a German energy provider. The plaintiff´s house lies below a glacial lake, the volume of which has increased to a hazardous level in the course of climate change. The power plant operator is requested to partially cover the costs of preventive measures for securing the property of the claimant. The District Court Essen dismissed the case. The decision is appealed. The central legal question is about causality. >> mehr
The Case of Huaraz
Publikation

Climate Justice needs your support

The case of Huaraz points to the major responsibility of large energy companies

The Peruvian farmer and mountain guide Saúl Luciano Lliuya has filed a lawsuit against RWE. >> mehr
Bild: Germanwatch Pressemitteilung
Pressemitteilung
13. May 2017

Climate suit against German utility RWE: Higher District Court will hear appeal on 13 November

Parallel to the political negotiations at the UN Climate Summit in Bonn, the legalities of climate change and its consequences will be on the agenda in Hamm. The Peruvian mountain guide Saúl Luciano Lliuya is taking his suit against RWE to the court of second instance.

The 5th Civil Chamber of the Higher District Court Hamm (Germany) has scheduled an oral hearing for the appeal of Peruvian mountain guide and small farmer Saúl Luciano Lliuya for 13 November (Monday). The public hearing is set to take approximately two hours. The scheduled date lies in the middle of the two-week UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn (Germany, 6 – 17 Nov.), which will likely attract added international attention to the case. The attorney for the claimant, Dr. Roda Verheyen (Hamburg), is pleased by the Higher District Court’s decision. “I am confident that this initial hearing will now be followed by an evidentiary phase." >> mehr
Blog Vorschaubild
Publikation

Landslides and floods in Peru – Huaraz is spared of the worst

Blog post by Noah Walker-Crawford, March 2017

Due to heavy rainfall the risks in Huaraz increase, but no considerable damage has happened yet. Hundreds of thousands of people in Peru are hit by floods and landslides which are the result of unusually strong rainfall. Poorer populations in particular are confronted with the consequences of those rainfalls. Many people lost their homes and are now facing an unsecure future. >> mehr

Contact

Press Contact

"This Peruvian Man is Suing an Energy Company Over Climate Change" (Video by VICE News Tonight on HBO)

Saúl Luciano Lliuya, Huaraz/Peru

"I am happy to have become active and it overwhelms me how much interest and support I have received in my country and around the world. This gives me the courage and strength to move forward. Climate change affects all countries in the world. Therefore we have to stand up for justice."

Donation "Saúl versus RWE - The Case of Huaraz"

Media Response

The Guardian, 10.09.2017
See you in court (Editorial)


The Washington Post, 07.08.2017
A flood of problems 


International Business Times, 25.11.16
A Peruvian farmer is suing German energy giant RWE over climate change


New York Times, 10.05.2017
In Novel Tactic on Climate Change, Citizens Sue Their Governments


The Guardian / theguardian.com, 16.03.2015