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22 Apr 2021


Ecuador: Plaintiffs to appeal ruling in favour of oil company PetroOriental, pursuing fight against climate change

"Ecuador: Plaintiffs to appeal ruling in favour of oil company PetroOriental, pursuing fight against climate change", 20 April 2021

Four months after a historic lawsuit was brought against Chinese oil company PetroOriental for its contribution to climate change in Ecuador, a ruling was issued yesterday by an Ecuadorian provincial court against the plaintiffs: Acción Ecológica, the Union of People Affected by Texaco (UDAPT), the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), and the Waorani community of Miwaguno. We will not rest until justice is done in favour of the human rights of the Waorani people and the rights of nature, which are harmed by the local effects of climate change in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

The lawsuit, filed on 10 December 2020 against the Chinese-owned company PetroOriental, alleges that the gas flares operated by the company in oil Block 14 contribute to climate change, thus disturbing the Miwaguno community’s way of life due to the local impacts of climate change on their land. The plaintiffs demanded that the company assume its share of responsibility for contributing to climate change and repair the damage caused by the local impact of this global phenomenon.

Cumandá Cuaical, constitutional judge of the Judicial Unit for the Family, Women, Children and Adolescents of Francisco de Orellana, ruled against the plaintiffs, so we will proceed to appeal the decision to continue demanding justice for the Miwaguno community and for nature, whose rights have been violated by the impacts of climate change to which PetroOriental’s Block 14 gas flares contribute.

We hope that the appeal courts in Ecuador will be able to deliver justice and recognise that the burning and consumption of fossil fuels – in this case the burning of gas through the flares operated by PetroOriental – contribute to climate change and are, by extension, responsible for the local impacts that this global phenomenon has on indigenous communities...