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26 Mär 2018

Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)

Experts assert that Philippines Human Rights Commission has jurisdiction, duty to act & evidentiary basis to investigate carbon majors' role in climate crisis

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"Experts: Human rights body should investigate carbon majors' role in climate crisis," 26 March 2018

Today, the Philippine Human Rights Commission holds the first public hearing in its landmark inquiry into the responsibility of 47 investor-owned fossil fuel companies for human rights violations resulting from the impacts of climate change. A group of scientific, human rights, and legal experts from around the world has submitted a Joint Summary of the Amicus Curiae Briefs in support of the Commission’s inquiry... A joint statement accompanying the briefing emphasizes the extensive body of peer-reviewed scientific evidence demonstrating that “climate change is causing severe environmental, economic, and social impacts at current levels of planetary warming.”

... These findings are relevant to the Commission’s inquiry into whether the respondent companies’ contributions to climate change violated Filipinos’ human rights to life, food, water, sanitation, adequate housing, self-determination, and the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. The hearing comes as many of these companies face inquiries and litigation in a growing number of jurisdictions beyond the Philippines, including Germany and the United States. The amici emphasized the vital need for the Commission’s inquiry in the face of mounting human impacts from climate change. “Given these immense human rights impacts,” the amici note, “it is equally important that people have access to justice.”...“Though the present inquiry is not judicial in nature, the Commission’s findings and recommendations can play a vital role in bringing the truth to light, laying the foundations for accountability, and respecting, protecting, and promoting human rights in the Philippines and beyond.”