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15 Jul 2022

Switzerland: Four Indonesian fishermen file "groundbreaking" climate lawsuit against Holcim over CO2 emissions

On 11 July 2022, four Indonesian fishermen from the island of Pari filed a conciliation application in Switzerland to hold cement company Holcim accountable for its CO2 emissions. Large parts of the island are likely to be submerged in the next 30 years, and the fishermen are asking the company compensation for damage already caused to their island by climate change, to finance flood protection measures, as well as a rapid reduction in Holcim's carbon emissions.

According to Swiss Church Aid (HEKS), an NGO supporting the plaintiffs, "Holcim is globally the leading manufacturer of cement, the basic material for concrete, and one of the 50 biggest CO2 emitters out of all companies worldwide."

Holcim declined to comment on the pending litigation but declared that "it takes climate action very seriously". "We significantly reduced our footprint over the last decade and will cut it further by 2030."

After the failure of conciliation proceedings, the islanders filed a complaint against Holcim on behalf of the entire island of Pari at the Cantonal Court of Zug in January 2023. They claim the company should compensate them for the "damage already caused on the island and finance flood protection measures."

More details on the NGOs' dedicated page here.