Saúl Luciano Lliuya against RWE: following a legal debate, the court has now entered the evidentiary phase – investors worldwide must consider climate litigation risk

Please help us with donations to continue supporting Saúl Luciano Lliuya in his fight, especially to cover costs for lawyers, the court and expert witnesses!

The Huaraz Case

News about the case

Climate justice needs your support
The Huaraz case highlights the special responsibility of large energy companies

The Andean city of Huaraz (Peru) faces the threat of a flood disaster. This is due to glacial retreat caused by climate change. We support the people there in claiming their right to protection from polluters. The lawsuit against RWE marks the first time that a person facing severe climate hazards is demanding that one of the largest greenhouse gas emitters in Europe contribute to urgently needed protective measures.

This Factsheet gives you a four-page overview of the background and goals of this legal test case. It also shows how you can support Saúl Luciano Lliuya in his cause.

Further information, current blog posts and links to further literature can be found on the Germanwatch topic page: https://www.germanwatch.org/en/huaraz

ABC Australia, 12.07.2020
Podcast: Climate in the Courtroom (Part 2 of 3): A fossil fuel company is sued. Now it speaks.

ABC Australia, 05.07.2020
Podcast: Climate in the Courtroom (Part 1 of 3): Why is this Peruvian farmer suing Germany’s largest power company RWE?

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The New York Times Magazine, 09.04.2019
Climate Change Could Destroy His Home in Peru. So He Sued an Energy Company in Germany.

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TIME Magazine, 05.10.2018
Climate Change Could Destroy This Peruvian Farmer’s Home

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The Guardian, 30.11.2017
German court to hear Peruvian farmer’s climate case

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International Business Times, 25.11.16
A Peruvian farmer is suing German energy giant RWE over climate change

Germanwatch expert Lutz Weischer explains in the TEDx Talk why he thinks Saúl Luciano Lliuya is a superhero.

Your support

 

Saúl Luciano Lliuya from Huaraz/Peru
Saul braucht Hilfe

PRECEDENT-SETTING CLIMATE JUSTICE LAWSUIT CONTINUES – ON-SITE VISIT IS IN PLANNING – CORONA PANDEMIC LEADS TO DELAY

Together with Germanwatch, the Foundation for Sustainability has been supporting the Peruvian Andean farmer and mountain guide Saúl Luciano Lliuya since 2015 in a civil climate lawsuit against the energy company RWE. Due to glacial retreat caused by climate change, a glacial lake above the Andean city of Huaraz has grown considerably. In the event of an outburst flood, Saúl Luciano Lliuya’s house as well as a large part of the city of Huaraz located below the glacial lake are threatened with a catastrophe that would affect up to 50,000 people. As Europe’s largest CO2 emitter, RWE is responsible for about half a percent of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions worldwide since the beginning of industrialization. Saúl Luciano Lliuya is demanding that the Group pay for around 0.5% of the protective measures required at the glacial lake.

On November 13, 2017, the 5th Civil Senate of the Hamm Higher Regional Court made legal history: Judges found that large emitters such as RWE have a potential obligation to support those affected by climate change impacts in poor countries. This marked the beginning of the evidentiary stage in the claim brought by Saúl Luciano Lliuya against RWE – a great success for this highly regarded test case.

In September 2018, the Hamm Higher Regional Court appointed independent experts to examine the evidence. As a first step, experts will look whether the threat of flooding to the plaintiff’s property can be proven to the legal standard of evidence. If this is established, the next evidentiary question is to what extent climate change and the CO2 emissions released by the defendant’s power plants have contributed to the danger of flooding at Lake Palcacocha.

As part of the first step, the court decided to visit the site in question in Huaraz/Peru. This visit has been delayed as Peru and Germany do not have a legal assistance agreement and due to the pandemic.

The dramatic nature of the situation came to the fore on February 5th, 2019 when a large avalanche crashed into the lake and caused waves of 4.5 m. Though an existing 7 m high dam prevented an outburst flood, this demonstrated the ongoing disaster risk to the city of Huaraz as a larger avalanche is possible at any time.

You can support this precedent-setting lawsuit through donations and thereby help Saúl Luciano Lliuya and his family! Our foundation has committed itself to cover all the plaintiff’s costs including expenses for the court, lawyers, and scientific experts.

 

Account information

GLS Gemeinschaftsbank eG
IBAN: DE 77 4306 0967 0014 0396 00
BIC: GENODEM1GLS
Reference: Huaraz

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