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Philippines: World’s largest carbon producers ordered to respond to complaint alleging human rights abuses from climate change

In September 2015, civil society groups and typhoon survivors brought a complaint before the Commission of Human Rights of the Philippines calling for an investigation into the responsibility of big fossil fuel companies for fuelling climate change that is resulting in human rights violations.

The Commission accepted the complaint and launched its investigation in December 2015, becoming the first national human rights body to officially take steps to address the impacts of climate change on human rights and the responsibility of private actors.

In July 2016, the Commission sent written copies of the complaint to the headquarters of the oil, coal, cement and mining companies involved and ordered them to respond within 45 days.

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Article
29 July 2016

World's largest carbon producers face landmark human rights case

Author: John Vidal, Guardian (UK)

27 Jul 2016

The world’s largest oil, coal, cement and mining companies have been given 45 days to respond to a complaint that their greenhouse gas emissions have violated the human rights of millions of people living in the Phillippines. In a potential landmark legal case, the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHR), a constitutional body with the power to investigate human rights violations, has sent 47 “carbon majors” including Shell, BP, Chevron, BHP Billiton and Anglo American, a 60-page document accusing them of breaching people’s fundamental rights to “life, food, water, sanitation, adequate housing, and to self determination”...The complaint argues that the 47 companies should be held accountable for the effects of their greenhouse gas emissions in the Philippines and demands that they explain how human rights violations resulting from climate change will be “eliminated, remedied and prevented”...The full legal investigation is now expected to start in October after the 47 companies have responded. Although all 47 will be ordered to attend public hearings, the CHR can only force those 10 with offices in the Philippines to appear...

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Article
29 July 2016

World’s largest carbon producers ordered to respond to allegations of human rights abuses from climate change

Author: Greenpeace Philippines

27 Jul 2016

Companies responsible for the majority of fossil fuel products that have been manufactured, marketed, and sold since the industrial revolution and have contributed the lion’s share of cumulative global emissions of industrial CO2 and methane, have been ordered to respond to a legal petition that triggered the first-ever national human rights investigation concerning climate change.

The Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHR)…sent copies of the complaint filed by the Petitioners, including disaster survivors, community organisations and Greenpeace Southeast Asia, as well as an official order, to the headquarters of the world’s largest investor-owned fossil fuel and cement producers. The order enjoins the companies to submit answers to the Commission within 45 days...

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Article
27 July 2016

Commentary: 5 reasons why fossil fuel CEOs must answer Filipino people on climate & human rights impacts

Author: Jennifer L Morgan, Greenpeace Intl., on Huffington Post (USA)

"Five reasons why CEOs of fossil fuel giants must answer to the Filipino people"

Here are five good reasons why CEOs of fossil fuel companies should respect the lives and livelihoods of those living on the front lines of climate change and answer the Filipinos’ petition.

1. Deadlines focus the mind The Commission has ordered the big polluters to respond to the petition within 45 days. The issues raised should come as no surprise. Shareholders have repeatedly requested that fossil fuel companies submit business plans in light of the urgency to reduce greenhouse gas emissions...

2. The writing is on the wall The Paris Agreement signals the end of the fossil fuel era. Business-as-usual is no longer a viable option...

3. Honesty is the best policy Some companies may have tried to hide the truth about climate change, in order to protect profits. Recent investigations revealed that despite understanding the risks of climate change years ago...The Union of Concerned Scientists has called on fossil fuel companies to stop disseminating misinformation on climate change...

4. Talk now or get sued later Climate change litigation is a material risk. Delaying action to address the human rights impacts of fossil fuels will only heighten the risk of lawsuits for CEOs and corporations...

5. Have a good answer for your grandchildren What will a fossil fuel CEO say when her or his grandchild asks, what did you do about climate change?...

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