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Climate Justice

Top Human Rights Court Urged To Tackle Corporate Climate Crimes

In a landmark hearing at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, legal experts and campaigners argued that businesses, such as the fossil fuel and agriculture industries, have legal duties to stop climate-related human-rights breaches. A panel of six judges met starting April 23 in Barbados at the University of West Indies for the hearing, which was dubbed “The climate emergency and human rights.” It opened with statements from Chile and Columbia, which had requested that the court provide an advisory opinion on climate change and human rights in 2023.

New Evidence Of Big Oil’s Decades-Long Campaign To Deny Climate Science

Oil and gas companies and their top trade groups were aware for decades that carbon emissions contribute to climate change, according to a scathing new report from congressional investigators. Moreover, industry giants knew that many of the technologies they presented publicly as solutions to the climate crisis – such as algae-based biofuels and carbon capture and storage (CCS) – were neither as green nor as feasible as they promised, the study reveals. The Senate Budget Committee and Democrats on the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability published the report and related documents on April 30

Taxing Fossil Fuel Companies Could Be ‘Powerful Tool’ To Cut Emissions

According to the new Climate Damages Tax report, introducing a fossil fuel tax on companies in the richest countries in the world could generate hundreds of billions to aid the most vulnerable nations in coping with the climate crisis. The impacts of climate change disproportionately affect poorer nations that have contributed to it the least. “Climate change is a war. A category five hurricane releases energy equivalent to 10,000 times the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.

Scientists For XR, Youth Action For Climate Justice Occupy Science Museum

Late on Friday 12 April, more than 30 protesters – including Chris Packham – led by young people from Youth Action for Climate Justice and members of Scientists for Extinction Rebellion have occupied the Science Museum’s new climate gallery, Energy Revolution, over its sponsorship by the coal giant and arms manufacturer, Adani. Naturalist and broadcaster Chris Packham joined the group as they began their protest, with scientists and young people now intending to remain in the museum over the weekend, with the first school visits to the gallery beginning on Monday 15 April.

The GKN Workers’ Fight Continues

On 9 July 2021, Melrose Industries announced the closure of its GKN Driveline (formerly FIAT) factory, which produces car axles in Campi di Bisenzio, Florence, and the layoff of more than 400 workers. While in many cases the workers and unions would settle for negotiating enhanced redundancy benefits, the GKN Factory Collective took over the plants and kickstarted a long struggle against decommissioning. However, what makes the Ex GKN Florence dispute really unique is the strategy adopted by the workers.

Bus Drivers Strike With Climate Activists In 57 German Cities

Public transit workers across Germany have broken new ground by coordinating our contracts—nearly all of them nationwide have expired over the last four months—and shutting down bus systems with strikes in 57 cities. To add to the pressure, we’ve done something new for our union and for Germany: we’ve formed an alliance between local transport workers and climate activists, including the students who have been leading massive school walkouts. The devastating effects of climate change are already rocking Germany: major heat waves, flooding, and water shortages.

Climate: ECHR Judges Side With Swiss Group In Rights Ruling

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Tuesday delivered rulings in a group of landmark climate change cases aimed at making national governments meet treaty obligations to cut greenhouse emissions. In one of the three cases, it upheld a complaint by a group of elderly Swiss women that government failures to properly oversee emissions did violate their human rights. While activists have enjoyed past success in domestic proceedings, the verdict marks the first time an international court made such a ruling on climate change.

Climate Justice Means Holistic Transformation, Not Tinkering

‘The climate crisis has many dimensions: social, political, economic, environmental, moral, ethical, and ideological. The way out of the crisis must address the root cause: the endless, limitless, mindless accumulation and concentration of capital on a planet with finite resources,’ Valdrak Jaentschke, head of the Nicaragua delegation, said in his speech at the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) in Dubai. In turn, climate justice must be multi-dimensional recognising that climate justice is an integral part of social, political, environmental, and ethical justice.

Climate Cases Against Big Oil Are Merging Into One Super Suit

Several California municipalities are merging their climate deception litigation with the state’s climate case, to jointly pursue a super-sized lawsuit against the fossil fuel industry, according to recent court filings. This development comes as Chicago joins the growing list of U.S. municipalities suing the fossil fuel industry. On February 5, Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Charles S. Treat approved California Attorney General Rob Bonta’s petition to link the state’s climate accountability case with lawsuits brought by the counties of Marin, San Mateo, and Santa Cruz, and the cities of Imperial Beach, Richmond, and Santa Cruz.

Six Lessons For Climate Activists In Turbulent Times

Not many eras in modern U.S. history have been as turbulent for activists as the last 18 months. Grassroots organizers have had to contend with a lingering pandemic, increasingly unstable geopolitics and signs that Earth’s ecological systems are finally paying us back for decades of abuse. For the climate movement in particular, it’s been a confusing time with unprecedented wins juxtaposed against a backdrop of worsening planetary crises. I had the chance to reflect deeply on these realities while preparing an updated edition of “Movement Makers: How Young Activists Upended the Politics of Climate Change” — a book that distills inspirational moments and lessons from more than two decades of youth-led climate organizing in the United States.

Havas London Targeted By Climate Activists Over Relationship With Shell

For the second time in four months, climate activists have gathered at the headquarters of Havas London to protest the ad agency’s relationship with Shell. According to the group, Extinction Rebellion or XR, Thursday’s protest was spurred by a whistleblower’s tip-off that Havas would be meeting with Shell to discuss new work for the fossil fuel giant. The trade publication Campaign recently reported that Shell’s global PR account is up for review this quarter. Caroline from Scientists for XR said that the group received a positive reception from Havas employees, “who are by and large young creatives.”

In Trial, Climatologist Confronts Climate Deniers Who Maligned His Work

Twelve years after he sued two climate deniers for defamation, climate scientist Michael Mann took the stand during the second week of the trial against them in Washington, D.C. Mann’s testimony painted a picture of a respected and accomplished scientist and academic who has been deeply hurt, personally and professionally, by accusations of scientific deception. In 2012, Rand Simberg and Mark Steyn publicly accused Mann, then a professor at Penn State University, of scientific misconduct and fraud. Both Simberg  — an adjunct scholar at the far-right think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute, which has a track record of platforming climate science deniers — and Steyn —a  blogger and then-frequent guest on Fox News — challenged Mann’s climate research, and likened the situation to the sexual predator scandal that shook Penn State earlier that year. 

This NGO Won A Climate Case Against Shell; Its Next Target? Dutch Bank ING

When Royal Dutch Shell lost a landmark climate lawsuit in The Netherlands, climate advocates said the Dutch court’s ruling put polluters and their financiers on notice. Now, the Dutch NGO that successfully sued Shell over its climate plans is taking those financial backers to court in a case that could help reverse the global banking sector’s support of fossil fuel firms and their activities. On January 19, Milieudefensie (Friends of the Earth Netherlands) announced it is initiating legal action against ING, the Netherlands’ largest bank and a major funder of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG). In a letter addressed to ING CEO Steven van Rijswijk and the first step in litigation,  Milieudefensie says it believes the bank is in breach of its “duty of care” obligation under Dutch law.

After 12 Years, Trial Against Alleged Defamers Begins For Climate Scientist

A defamation lawsuit 12 years in the making brought by climate scientist Michael Mann opened January 18th in Washington, D.C. Superior Court. The two conservative commentators accused of defamation mounted separate defenses, and both continued to disparage Mann during the first day of this long-anticipated trial. The case centers around statements made in 2012 by right-wing blogger Rand Simberg and Fox TV personality Mark Steyn that attacked Mann, a scientist and professor who holds a doctorate from Yale. Simberg is an analyst at the far-right think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute, which has a long track record of platforming climate science denialists.

Youth Climate Case Against U.S. Government Should Go To Trial

​A federal trial court judge in Oregon has rejected the US government’s latest attempts to quash the constitutional climate case Juliana v. United States, once again allowing the youth-led civil rights lawsuit to advance to trial. In a ruling issued on December 29, 2023, US District Judge Ann Aiken denied the government defendants’ motions to dismiss and to further stall the litigation as well as their request to bring another pre-trail appeal. Aiken’s ruling also orders the parties to arrange a pre-trial conference to discuss next steps including scheduling a trial date. The case had been previously slated to start trial five years ago on October 29, 2018, but the government’s extraordinary and repeated obstruction tactics derailed the trial and ultimately resulted in a federal appeals court ordering the case be dismissed in January 2020.
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