Today, the Peruvian farmer and mountain guide Saúl Luciano Lliuya is filing a lawsuit against the German utility RWE at the Regional Court in Essen, Germany. The reason: The energy company’s immense emissions threaten his family, his property as well as a large part of his home city of Huaraz. Climate change has caused the glacial lake to quickly grow in size, making it a risk for the Andean city of 120,000.
On the eve of the G7 Summit in Elmau, Germany, NGOs from all seven member countries call on their leaders to send a strong signal that the era of fossil fuels is over. As the world's largest industrialised countries, the G7 have a global responsibility to go further and faster to address climate change through rapid decarbonisation of their economies and providing support to the poorest.
A person affected by climate change has made the unprecedented move to launch a claim against a European carbon major, demanding that the company contribute to urgently needed protective measures: Peruvian citizen Saúl Luciano Lliuya, with the help of the renowned environmental lawyer Dr. Roda Verheyen (Hamburg), demands payment for safety works from German utility RWE. Mr Luciano Lliuya’s property as well as large parts of his hometown Huaraz are prone to a so-called glacial lake outburst flood from Lake Palcacocha located upstream from the city.
Global emissions have reached a new peak, but recent developments indicate a new readiness for action on climate protection. This is the message of the 10th edition of the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI); a ranking of the climate protection performance of the 58 highest emitters worldwide published by Germanwatch and CAN Europe at the UN Climate Conference in Lima today. "We see global trends, indicating promising shifts in some of the most relevant sectors for climate protection", said Jan Burck (Germanwatch), author of the Index.
Germanwatch views a new landmark decision by the German federal government as a crucial but not entirely sufficient signal towards the UN climate negotiations in Lima/Peru. Today, the German federal government decided upon additional emission reduction measures that shall guarantee that Germany reaches its 2020 greenhouse gas reduction goal of 40% below the 1990 level.
The Philippines, Cambodia and India were most affected by extreme weather events in 2013. This is the result of this year’s Global Climate Risk Index, presented by Germanwatch. “We all remember the images of the catastrophic Typhoon Haiyan, which wiped out entire regions and took the lives of more than 6000,” said Sönke Kreft, author of the study and Team Leader for International Climate Policy at Germanwatch. “Climate change must be controlled so that the future will not bring more of these record-breaking catastrophes."
The new edition of the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) was released by Germanwatch and CAN Europe in Warsaw at the UN climate talks today. The results show emissions worldwide have climbed to a new peak and no single country is yet on track to prevent dangerous climate change. "Unexpectedly, for the first time our Index also draws a cautious picture of hope", says Jan Burck, the author of the Index that ranks the climate protection performance of the 58 highest emitters worldwide. "We see positive signals towards a slow down in the increase in global CO2 emissions. And China - the world's biggest emitter - improved its performance in climate protection."
Overshadowed by the ongoing human catastrophe in the Philippines, Germanwatch presented the 9th annual Global Climate Risk Index at the onset of the Climate Summit in Warsaw. “The index shows that the most severe weather related catastrophes in 2012 occurred in Haiti, Philippines and Pakistan”, says Sönke Kreft, Team Leader International Climate Policy at Germanwatch and co-author of the index. „The landfall of Hurricane Sandy in the US dominated international news in October 2012. Yet, it was Haiti - the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere - that suffered the greatest losses from the same event."
In a time of heavily increasing greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel investments, the light at the end of the tunnel cannot yet be seen. The eighth annual Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI), which was published at the Doha climate talks today by Germanwatch and the Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, ranks the climate protection performance of the 58 highest emitters worldwide. For the first time, the index used deforestation data, which resulted in a rankings drop of countries with high forest emissions such as Brazil and Indonesia. Once again, no country made it into the first three spots on the list due to a lack of ambition to reach the goal of keeping global warming below 2 degree Celsius.
Most damages resulting from weather extremes are often not recognised by international media, unlike Sandy's destruction at the U.S. east coast a few weeks ago. But in 2011, poorer developing countries have been hit much harder in average, according to the new edition of the Germanwatch Global Climate Risk Index. The ranking, which was presented today at the UN climate summit in Doha, concludes that Thailand, Cambodia, Pakistan and El Salvador are on top of those countries that suffered most from extreme weather events in 2011.