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.
The G20 collectively are still far removed from demonstrating responsible stewardship in the area of climate protection. Yet individual countries – both traditional industrial nations such as Italy, France and to some extent Germany as well, and emerging economies like Brazil and India – have indicated possible pathways to decarbonization. This is the key insight provided by the G20 Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI), introduced by Germanwatch, the Climate Action Network (CAN) and the NewClimate Institute today. A day ahead of the G20 summit in Hamburg, the member states have highly diverse scores within the ranking.
G20 countries have stepped up green finance, but their investment in fossil fuels remains so high that the “well below 2 degree” warming limits set in the Paris Agreement will be missed by a wide margin, says this year’s “Brown to Green” Report from Climate Transparency. The "Brown to Green-Report: The G20 transition to a low-carbon economy 2017" is the third annual stocktake of the G20’s climate efforts by the Climate Transparency global partnership, released today ahead of this year’s meeting of G20 leaders in Hamburg. It has been developed by a group of experts from the G20 countries Argentina, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa and the UK.
Most G20 states improved conditions for investments in low-carbon energy over the past year, with several emerging market countries rapidly catching up to the leaders. The rapid development of the renewable energy sector is a crucial success factor for meeting the Paris climate goals. The G20 countries need to roughly double their annual investments in renewable energy to align their power infra-structure with the well below 2°C pathway, fixed at the Paris COP 21 in 2015.
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."
To reach the Paris Agreement climate goal, and stay under 2°C warming, emissions will need to peak in the coming years and be reduced to zero by 2050. China, India and the US play a key role in achieving this target as they emit over 50% of the global CO2 emissions and are by far the largest markets for renewable energies. Published today, the Allianz Climate & Energy Monitor Deep Dive aims to inform investors and policy-makers on the scale of investments needed in China, India and the US to be in line with the Paris goals; and what recent developments, especially regarding the leadership change in the US, mean for investing in renewable power in the future.
Today the mountain guide and small-scale farmer Saúl Luciano Lliuya from Peru filed an appeal against the decision made by the Regional Court Essen (Germany) in his lawsuit against RWE. Together with his attorney Dr. Roda Verheyen (Hamburg), he will continue his efforts before the Higher Regional Court Hamm to compel RWE, as the largest emitter of CO2 in Europe, to contribute to protective measures against the effects of climate change in the Peruvian Andes. These effects threaten major parts of his hometown, Huaraz. The court of first instance had dismissed the “climate suit” in mid-December.
Today, the Regional Court Essen dismissed the civil suit of Peruvian mountain guide Saúl Luciano Lliuya against RWE. The legal process is likely to continue: Attorney Verheyen announced that her client will “most likely” present an appeal at the Higher Regional Court Hamm.
In the “climate suit” of Peruvian mountain guide and small farmer Saúl Luciano Lliuya against RWE, the regional court in Essen has announced that it will decide on December 15 whether the suit will proceed to the evidentiary phase. Thus it remains unclear whether, for the first time, a German civil court will probe in detail the question to what extent big contributors to climate change must pay for the costs of preventative measures against the risks that others face in the course of global climate change. The claimant Saúl Luciano Lliuya and his attorney Dr. Roda Verheyen (Hamburg) are optimistic. “In an open proceeding, we laid out why our claims are valid and legitimate, and why this is a matter that the regional court must consider”, says attorney Roda Verheyen.
The European Union has taken a positive, but half-hearted, step towards cleaning up Europe’s trade in minerals. EU legislators concluded their negotiations on a new law on so-called ‘conflict minerals’—a Regulation which is meant to ensure that minerals entering the EU do not finance conflict or human rights violations. Certain EU companies will, for the first time, be legally required to take responsibility for their mineral supply chains and to take steps to prevent their trade being linked to conflict or human rights abuses. However, a string of concessions and last-minute loopholes could undermine the Regulation’s impact, as they exempt a large number of companies from the law.