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8 Okt 2017

Ucilia Wang, Climate Liability News

Philippines climate case could find that fossil fuel companies violate human rights

The Philippines’ Commission on Human Rights is investigating whether the collective contribution to global warming by 47 coal, cement, oil and gas companies has violated Filipinos’ basic rights to life, water, food, sanitation, adequate housing and self-determination. The companies include some of the world’s biggest fossil fuel producers, such as ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, Rio Tinto and Total. Petitioners asked the commission to investigate these companies because these businesses are part of the 90 firms that have been identified in research as being responsible for nearly two-thirds of the greenhouse gas emissions since the start of the industrial age...meaning these companies are also responsible for the increasing number of devastating natural disasters, including typhoon Haiyan that killed more than 6,300 people in the country in 2013, the petitioners said...

The commission plans to hold a pre-hearing conference with both sides in December and start public hearings in the first quarter of next year, said Commissioner Roberto Cadiz, who is leading the investigation... So far, 17 companies named in the petition have filed written responses with the commission. They mostly disputed the authority of the commission to investigate them because they don’t operate in the Philippines, or they argued that climate change isn’t a human rights issue under domestic or international law... [A spokesperson for] Anglo American said while the company is committed to addressing climate change, it doesn’t believe the Philippines’ case has merit.