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.
With the historic Paris Agreement having recently entered into force, this year’s Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) 2017 confirms a boost for renewable energy and positive developments in energy efficiency. While these encouraging trends are happening on a global scale, the necessary energy revolution is still happening too slowly. Jan Burck, Germanwatch, key author of the CCPI comments: "The conditions for a global energy revolution have never been better. Due to the falling costs of renewable energy and efficiency technologies, national governments have no more excuses not to enshrine the Paris Agreement into national law."
The Development and Environment NGO Germanwatch considers Germany's new 2050 Decarbonisation Plan published today a significant first step of Germany implementing the Paris Agreement. The plan by the German Federal Government comes after one and a half a years of intensive inter-ministerial negotiations, a stakeholder process and vigorous public debate. Germany is the first country to adopt a detailed long-term decarbonisation plan.
Africa is the continent that was hit hardest by extreme weather events in 2015. According to the 12th edition of the Global Climate Risk Index, four out of the ten most impacted countries globally are African: Mozambique (Rank 1), Malawi (Rank 3), Ghana and Madagascar (both Rank 8). "Especially flooding affected the hosting continent of this year's climate summit", says Germanwatch's Sönke Kreft, main author of the Index. Heat waves claimed most lives last year. More than 4,300 deaths in India and more than 3,300 deaths in France show that both developing and developed countries are impacted by extraordinary temperatures. Kreft: "Increases in heavy precipitation, flooding and heatwaves are to be expected in a warming world."
The Federation of German Industries (BDI), Germanwatch and the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) are gathering forces to urge the G20 countries to introduce carbon pricing as a means to achieve the climate goals set forth in the Paris Agreement. The unusual alliance between an industry association, an environmental organization and a research institute seeks to drive ambitious climate protection, create more predictability for planning, promote fair competition and secure the necessary investments.
The G20 needs to make more effort to move to a green, low-carbon economy, especially in the areas of coal power expansion and climate policy, but is beginning to head in the right direction. This is the key result of a comprehensive assessment of G20 climate action, released in Beijing today ahead of the G20 summit in China this weekend. The report, “Brown to Green: Assessing the G20 transition to a low-carbon economy” has been produced by Climate Transparency, and written by a range of international experts and was launched at a press conference in Beijing.
Representing RWE, the law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has filed its first response to a civil suit filed by the Peruvian small-scale farmer and mountain guide Saúl Luciano Lliuya. The german firm denies responsibility for climate change impacts in the Peruvian Andes. In the written statement, the lawyers claim that RWE has no liability under German civil law. The claimant Saúl Luciano Lliuya expected such a reaction and is determined to pursue his case at the Essen Regional Court (Germany) in a hearing this autumn with his Hamburg lawyer Dr. Roda Verheyen: “RWE needs to take responsibility for its emissions. We in Peru have hardly made any contribution to climate change, but we live with the worst consequences.”