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6 Apr 2015

Lisa Friedman, E & E Publishing, LLC (USA)

Claim blaming utility for devastating glacier melt in Peru may set landmark legal precedent

A Peruvian farmer who has watched glaciers melt "literally under his feet" is demanding that a German energy company compensate him for its role in causing climate change and putting his mountain village at risk of obliteration...Saul Luciano Lliuya's claim against utility company RWE AG...could just as easily have been lodged against Chevron Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp. or any other major carbon polluter in the world...But after speaking with activists from advocacy group Germanwatch, Lliuya opted to focus on Europe's largest emitter of greenhouse gases...Roda Verheyen, an environmental lawyer representing Lliuya [said] "He has nothing to gain for this personally except for the protection of his community."...Legal experts say that no matter the monetary compensation levels being asked, the case could be a landmark in the making. While it is not the first global warming litigation of its kind, observers said it goes further than others in linking a specific climate risk to a specific climate polluter...Verheyen said she hopes the suit will spur new action toward an agreement on loss and damage, and predicted that would happen if the court ultimately ruled in Lliuya's favor...

Part of the following timelines

Peruvian farmer demands compensation from RWE for climate change impacts; includes company response

RWE Gerichtsverfahren (bez. Klimawandel)