The case of Huaraz points to the major responsibility of large energy companies
The Peruvian farmer and mountain guide Saúl Luciano Lliuya has filed a lawsuit against RWE. Due to climate-change induced glacial retreat, a glacial lake above the Andean city of Huaraz has grown and threatens to overflow or even break its dam. Saúl Luciano Lliuya‘s house along with large parts of the city are at risk of a devastating flood that would affect up to 50,000 people in Huaraz.
The energy company RWE, Europe‘s largest CO2 emitter, is responsible for around half a percent of all industrial greenhouse gas emissions. Saúl Luciano Lliuya demands that the company cover around 0.5% of costs for safety measures at the glacial lake.
This lawsuit is the first of its kind in the whole world to reach this stage. In an important step, the case entered the evidentiary phase which creates political leverage to establish new legal mechanisms for people affected by climate change.