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Citizens take companies & govts. to court over climate change impacts

Author: John Schwartz, New York Times (USA), Published on: 11 May 2016

"In Novel Tactic on Climate Change, Citizens Sue Their Governments", 10 May 2016

Global warming is already disrupting the planet's weather. Now it is having an impact on the courts, as well, as adults and children around the world try to enlist the judiciary in their efforts to blunt climate change...

Last month, a federal magistrate judge in Oregon startled many legal experts by allowing the lawsuit filed on behalf of 21 teenagers and children to go forward, despite motions from the Obama administration and fossil fuel companies to dismiss it; the suit would force the government to take more aggressive action against climate change...

The lawsuit calls for the courts to order the government to stop the "permitting, authorizing and subsidizing of fossil fuels" — by, for example, canceling plans for projects like a liquefied natural gas export terminal in Oregon...

In November, the farmer in Peru, Saul Luciano Lliuya, sued the German utility RWE for its proportional contribution to global climate change...

The German courts have accepted the case, but a representative of the company, Klaus-Peter Kress, said, "RWE does not see a legal basis for this type of claim."...

Some of the arguments in the Oregon lawsuit surprised legal experts, and cases that extend rights in innovative ways tend to be long shots. A lawsuit brought against fossil fuel companies and utilities by the citizens of Kivalina, Alaska, a coastal town battered by climate forces, was dismissed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in 2009...

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Related companies: RWE