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

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Article
7 June 2016

Philippines prepares to summon 47 companies to account for climate change

Author: Greenpeace Philippines

27 May 2016

Petitioners in the landmark human rights complaint against fossil fuel companies…submitted to the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHR) copies of their petition…The petition, which CHR will send to the 47 top fossil fuel and cement companies worldwide, seeks investigation into, and accountability of, these companies for climate impacts that endanger people’s lives and livelihoods, as well as that of future generations…

The petition covering climate change and human rights was brought to the CHR initially in September 2015. By December, the CHR announced that it will open an investigation in 2016 using a National Inquiry approach.

Last May 10, the CHR released an Order directing the petitioners to reproduce and submit copies of the petition, including supporting exhibits and annexes, for sending out to the 47 companies…that have contributed the lion’s share of cumulative global CO2 and methane emissions to the earth’s atmosphere, as identified by peer-reviewed scientific research.

The petitioners are expecting that these big oil companies will be served their Summons within the next few days, after which they have 45 days to reply to the CHR…

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Article
16 December 2015

Philippines: Various climate change legal actions “open doors for victims to demand redress & justice from big polluters”

Author: Anna Abad & Cameron Baghai, Inquirer (Philippines)

“Climate justice”, 13 Dec 2015

…[T]he Commission on Human Rights announced…it would launch an investigation into the top 50 big polluters, a step which could hold fossil fuel companies responsible for the impact of climate change, such as extreme weather events. This will be the world’s first national human rights investigation into big polluters

Just as the climate summit in Paris aims to bring us closer to a legally binding agreement, climate justice opens the doors for victims of climate change to demand redress and justice from the big polluters mainly responsible for bringing us to the brink of this climate crisis.

Our world leaders are being held accountable for climate change but they represent only one side of the coin. Let us not forget the big polluters that represent the other dark side, for their historical and cumulative responsibility for climate change…

 

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Article
4 December 2015

Philippines takes up complaint of human rights violations by oil firms

Author: Laurie Goering, Reuters

Responding to a complaint filed by typhoon victims, a Philippines human rights commission agreed…to look into whether large international fossil fuel companies are violating the human rights of its citizens by driving climate change…

Cadiz [Roberto Cadiz, a member of the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines] said the commission would launch an inquiry in the first quarter of 2016…

"Companies fear nothing more than a lawsuit. The best way to get their attention is to say we have a legal basis for a claim and we're going to bring a lawsuit," said Gregory Regaignon, a lawyer and research director of the U.K.-based Business and Human Rights Resource Center, which looks at the human rights implications of company action.

The aim is to "reach companies where their assets are," he said. "That's what they care about most, and how we're going to reach remedies."…

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Article
4 December 2015

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

Author: John Nery, Inquirer (Philippines)

"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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Article
22 September 2015

Human rights complaint filed vs 50 oil, cement companies

Author: Kristine Angeli Sabillo, Inquirer (Philippines)

Greenpeace Philippines and several other environmental groups…filed what is considered the first human rights complaint against “big polluters” – 50 multinational companies that are among the largest emitters of greenhouse gases. The 40-page petition, signed by 13 environmental groups and 20 individuals, wants the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to investigate so-called “Carbon Majors” for human rights violations resulting from impacts of climate change…Of the 50 respondents, 10 have branches or subsidiaries in the Philippines — Chevron, ExxonMobil, BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Total, BHP Billiton, Anglo American, Lafarge, Holcim, and Taiheiyo Cement Corporation…

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Article
22 September 2015

Philippines: For the first time fossil fuel companies face national human rights complaint on climate change

Author: Greenpeace Philippines

Typhoon survivors and civil society groups in the Philippines…delivered a complaint to the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHR) calling for an investigation into the responsibility of big fossil fuel companies for fuelling the catastrophic climate change that is resulting in human rights violations…The group is demanding an investigation into the top 50 investor-owned fossil fuel companies and their responsibility for climate impacts that endanger people’s lives and livelihoods, as well as that of future generations…The 50 companies, including Chevron, ExxonMobil, BP, Royal Dutch Shell, ConocoPhillips, are a subset of the 90 legal entities that have contributed the lion's share of cumulative global CO2 and methane emissions in the earth’s atmosphere, as identified by peer-reviewed research…

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