The climate lawsuit of the Peruvian Andean farmer and mountain guide Saúl Luciano Lliuya against the energy company RWE has entered the decisive phase six and a half years after the lawsuit was filed: After a long delay, especially due to the Corona pandemic, a site visit took place this week in the Andean city of Huaraz. Judges of the Higher Regional Court (OLG) of Hamm (Germany), legal advisors and experts travelled to Peru to examine whether the plaintiff's house is threatened by a possible flood wave from the glacier lake Palcacocha above the city. The entire danger zone in Huaraz actually covers an area where around 50,000 people live.
The Coronavirus pandemic has delayed the collection of evidence in the trial between the Peruvian farmer Saúl Luciano Lliuya and the German utility RWE at the Upper State Court in Hamm (Germany). Nevertheless, a new scientific study is providing credence to the legal claim: a prestigious team of researchers has used climate models to demonstrate that the risk of glacial lake flooding affecting the city of Huaraz is almost entirely due to anthropogenic climate change.
In a recent video feature, British television station Channel 4 News poses the question "Who should pay to fix the climate emergency?". Journalist Simon Roach vividly explains why this is a question of fairness and justice, bringing together the various dimensions that form part of the answer: Starting at the industrial revolution, he looks at individual countries’ contributions to climate change, explains the sometimes confusing world of climate diplomacy, describes climate impacts and the resulting need for climate finance.
The plaintiff Saúl Luciano Lliuya and his family need a lot of patience in this worldwide-perceived lawsuit. After the court's decision to enter into the evidentiary stage, it had taken a long time until the official experts for the taking of evidence could be determined. This was partly due to objections by RWE‘s lawyers, which were rejected by the court.
Now even more time is needed to realize a recent court-appointed on-site visit to Peru/Huaraz.