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25 Nov 2016

Deutsche Welle (Germany)

Hearings begin in Germany for Peruvian farmer's lawsuit against RWE over climate change

"Peruvian farmer sues German energy firm RWE", 24 Nov 2016

A Peruvian farmer and mountain guide is suing German energy firm RWE, alleging its contribution to climate change is threatening his home, in a trial which began today...Germany. Saúl Lliuya...says his family and a large part of the city are facing catastrophic flooding as global warming melts a nearby glacier.  As a result, water levels in the mountain lake above the city are increasing, meaning that his family home could be swept away by a 30-meter high flood wave....RWE's coal power emissions contribute to around 0.5 percent of global climate change, so the company should have to pay around half a percent of the measures required for protecting Lliyua's home and the area...RWE says the case is groundless and has no legal basis...From a legal standpoint, a victory for the plaintiff seems unlikely. Similar cases have failed in the past on account of a lack of evidence showing the defendant is specifically responsible for possible damages...The court will make an announcement in December...It is the first time a German civil court has been asked to rule on whether a company contributing to climate change can be held responsible...