The Coronavirus pandemic has delayed the collection of evidence in the trial between the Peruvian farmer Saúl Luciano Lliuya and the German utility RWE at the Upper State Court in Hamm (Germany). Nevertheless, a new scientific study is providing credence to the legal claim: a prestigious team of researchers has used climate models to demonstrate that the risk of glacial lake flooding affecting the city of Huaraz is almost entirely due to anthropogenic climate change.
Five years ago, legal history in terms of climate protection was written: Thanks to the courageous filing of a civil lawsuit against RWE, Europe's largest CO2 emitter, by the Peruvian mountain guide and farmer Saúl Luciano Lliuya in November 2015. To celebrate this important milestone, Saúl Luciano Lliuya, his lawyer and his supporters*, came together to look back on the past five years, take stock and venture a look into the future. Watch the video of the event.
Am 24. November 2015 zog Saúl Luciano Lliuya aus der peruanischen Andenstadt Huaraz für den Schutz seines Lebensraumes vor ein deutsches Gericht. Er reichte seine Klage ein, um einen der größten Emittenten für die Folgen seiner klimaschädlichen Wirtschaftsweise haftbar zu machen. Mit dem Fall Huaraz wurde juristisches Neuland betreten. Inzwischen ist es eine weltweit wahrgenommene Musterklage, die es in die Beweisaufnahme geschafft hat und eine Signalwirkung wie keine andere Klage entfaltet.
In a recent video feature, British television station Channel 4 News poses the question "Who should pay to fix the climate emergency?". Journalist Simon Roach vividly explains why this is a question of fairness and justice, bringing together the various dimensions that form part of the answer: Starting at the industrial revolution, he looks at individual countries’ contributions to climate change, explains the sometimes confusing world of climate diplomacy, describes climate impacts and the resulting need for climate finance.
Before the COVID-19 outbreak, the Higher Regional Court of Hamm had increasingly envisaged the on-site visit in Huaraz in the context of the taking of evidence in this high profile climate lawsuit. Now, unfortunately, it will be further delayed due to the crisis and resulting travel restrictions.