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4 Dec 2015

John Nery, Inquirer (Philippines)

Philippines: Commission on Human Rights accepts climate change petition, will investigate carbon majors for impacts on human rights & climate; case first of its kind

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"In a first, CHR to probe global polluters for rights violations", 4 December 2015

The Commission on Human Rights announced…that it will give due course to a petition filed in the Philippines by various environmental advocacy groups seeking an investigation of 50 international “carbon majors.”

In a move certain to raise the Philippines’ profile even higher at the ongoing climate change talks…the CHR will investigate multinationals such as Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell for violating human rights through environmental pollution.

The legal action is the first of its kind in the world, and bears the promise, or the threat, of holding non-state actors proven to be responsible for emitting large amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to legal account…

“Why is this important?” Gregory Regaignon, research director of the Business & Human Rights Resource Center, answered his own question. “I can tell you that companies fear nothing more than a lawsuit.”

But he also said that recognition of the merits of the petition by “an authoritative body” like the CHR is “really path-breaking,” and would add pressure on the carbon majors operating even outside the Philippines…

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Philippines: Carbon majors face national human rights complaint on climate change for the first time

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