Philippines Prepares to Summon 47 Companies to Account for Climate Change

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Zelda Soriano, Legal and Political Advisor, Greenpeace Southeast Asia
Email: zelda.soriano@greenpeace.org  Mobile: +639175949424

Anna Abad, Climate Justice Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia (Philippines), Email: anna.abad@greenpeace.org  Mobile: +639178573330

JP Agcaoili, Communications and Digital Manager, Greenpeace Southeast Asia (Philippines) Email: juanpedro.agcaoili@greenpeace.org  Mobile: +639498891334

Philippines Prepares to Summon 47 Companies to Account for Climate Change

Quezon City, Philippines - Petitioners in the landmark human rights complaint against fossil fuel companies today submitted to the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHR) copies of their petition in compliance with CHR’s May 10 Order, which also enjoins the respondents to answer within 45 days upon receiving their copies. 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 complaint is the first of its kind in the world and is being brought forward by typhoon survivors, advocates and non-governmental organizations, including Greenpeace Southeast Asia. The petitioners are supported by more than 31,800 Filipinos out of the more than 128,000 global online supporters.[1]

“This is a big, bold step for the Philippines as it is at the forefront of climate impacts. But this courageous undertaking can only succeed with the unifying support of government agencies, communities, civil society organizations and other human rights institutions from all over the globe. Climate Justice is not the Philippines’ fight alone, the outcomes of this petition may mean a better life for countless souls, but we all have to do this together.” said Anna Abad, Climate Justice Campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.  

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, which includes Chevron, ExxonMobil, BP, Royal Dutch Shell, and ConocoPhillips, and which are part of the 90 legal entities 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.[2]

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.

“We demand justice. These big carbon polluters should acknowledge their accountability for the impacts of their irresponsible business activities on the lost homes, lives and livelihood of those that are at the mercy of climate change. Filipinos are among the most vulnerable, and we hope that the investigations of the CHR will finally be able to right some wrongs,” Abad added.

Notes to the Editor:

[1] The following have provided support and advice to the petition: Amnesty International, Avaaz, Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, Centre for International Environmental Law, Climate Justice Programme; EarthRights, International, International Trade Union Confederation, Union of Concerned Scientists, and West Coast Environmental Law Association.

[2] A groundbreaking study by Richard Heede identified that 90 Carbon Major entities – including the worlds' largest fossil fuel companies – are responsible for an estimated 63% of all anthropogenic CO2 emissions between 1751 and 2010. With a recent update to his study for the timeframe 1751-2013, this figure climbs up to almost 65%. The 50 investor-owned Carbon Major companies contributed 337.7 Gt CO2e, equivalent to 21.6% of estimated global industrial emissions through 2013. Half the emissions have occurred since 1986, demonstrating the increasing speed with which fossil fuels are being burned. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10584-013-0986-y

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