Climate Victory Over Polluters

ELAW Bulletin


We are thrilled to share a landmark victory, announced this week by the head of the Philippines Commission on Human Rights during COP25 international climate talks in Madrid.
Commissioner Roberto Cadiz announced that 47 fossil fuel and cement companies could be held legally responsible for the damage to Filipinos’ human rights caused by global warming.
The Independent reported yesterday:
"The commission was tasked in 2016 by Greenpeace South-East Asia and other local environmental groups whether 47 of the world’s biggest fossil fuel firms – including Shell, BP, ExxonMobil and Total – were violating the rights of Filipino citizens. It held hearings in Manila, New York and London where it heard from scientists, lawyers and people who had suffered from climate-related disasters.  

Its final report, which has yet to be published, will say that these companies have clear legal and moral responsibilities to act, which includes shifting away from fossil fuels and investing in cleaner energy sources."  

ELAW filed a submission to support the Commission's investigation, stating that the damages caused by climate change include grave human rights violations.
Find more information about this inspired victory in a press release from Greenpeace Southeast Asia.
The specter of the climate crisis is bleak, but there is cause for hope with citizen organizations in the Philippines and around the world playing a vital role. ELAW is pleased with our work helping grassroots lawyers working to protect the climate through law.
For more information, see Climate Litigation Strategies and Coal Litigation Strategies.

Maggie Keenan
Communications Director
Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide