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The High Court of Hamm considers the action of a Peruvian farmer against the energy group to be conclusive. The farmer makes RWE responsible for climate change.

Higher Regional Court Hamm: Peruvian farmer achieves partial success against RWE

The High Court of Hamm considers the action of a Peruvian farmer against the energy group to be conclusive. The farmer makes RWE responsible for climate change.

Higher Regional Court Hamm: Peruvian farmer achieves partial success against RWE

A small farmer from Andes accuses a German energy conglomerate – and chances are not so bad: High Court in Hamm has announced that it is complaint of Peruvian landlord Saúl Luciano Lliuya against company RWE for conclusive Keeps. The court stated that taking evidence was "likely". Lliuya calls for a cost contribution from RWE to protective measures against overflow of a glacial lake in Huaraz in Andes. RWE has caused climate change through operation of coal-fired power plants and associated CO2 emissions.

This decision of Upper court Hamm is considered a partial success. On 30 November court will announce wher a lawsuit against RWE is approved. The energy group should still have opportunity to take a position in writing. In first instance, county court had dismissed lawsuit just under a year ago.

Roda Verheyen, plaintiff's lawyer, said court had written "legal history". Klaus Milke, chairman of development organisation Germanwatch, who advises plaintiffs, also commented positively on judge's decision: "The court acknowledged that German civil law also applies to perpetrators of climate change," said Milke.

"The mountains have won"

The plaintiffs estimate that RWE is responsible for 0.47 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. According to this proportion, Peruvian farmer demands financial compensation from RWE. A glacier in Huaraz, about 450 kilometers north of Lima, melts through increasing temperatures and water level of glacial lake rises. Lliuya had already spent 6,400 euros on flood protection at his house, for Municipal association he called for anor 17,000 euros. Before decision, farmer declared: "The lawsuit is directed against RWE because y have been using ir power plants to emit greenhouse gases into Earth's atmosphere, which are responsible for global warming."

Lawsuits against climate change

Often tried...

The lawsuit of Peruvian farmer Saúl Luciano Lliuya against German energy conglomerate RWE is not only attempt to legally sue companies for ir complicity in climate change. Already in year 2002, Roda Verheyen founded with or lawyers Climate Justice program, a network that prepared such lawsuits. 2013 tried to sue city of Kivalina oil company ExxonMobil. Kivalina is located in U.S. state of Alaska, directly on coast. Because of global warming sea no longer freezes, city threatens to be flooded by storms.

... often failed

So far, such lawsuits have always been rejected because it is difficult to prove a specific debt to a group: How large is share of RWE's power plant in climate change? If Peruvian farmer and his lawyer Verheyen come through with ir lawsuit against RWE, y would write legal history.

A spokesman for second largest energy supplier in Germany said, of course, that group "does not care about Mr. Lliuya's fate". However, RWE believes that "an individual cannot be held responsible for what is caused by countless worldwide".

After trial, Lliuya moved: "The mountains have won. The lagoons are tears of mountains, and justice has heard that and has given us justice. " According to lawyer, plaintiff's objective was fully achieved with this decision, as it shows that big companies are jointly responsible for climate change.

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