Climate Justice

According to Klaus T?pfer of the United Nations Environment
Program, ‘We have over 500 international and regional agreements,
treaties and deals covering everything from the protection of the
ozone layer to the conservation of the oceans and seas,’ and yet
few of these agreements are enforced with the vigor necessary to
effectively combat climate change. The Climate Justice Programme is
a collaborative directed by lawyers Peter Roderick in the U.K. and
Roda Verheyen in Germany, with U.S. coordination by Jon Sohn. The
Programme has brought suits in the three countries in which it
works, challenging pollution and environmental policy with existing
laws.

The Climate Justice Programme’s Peter Roderick, in a June 2004
press release announcing a lawsuit in Germany wrote: ‘Climate
change litigation has now arrived in Europe. Legal action of this
kind will intensify until the developed world and its corporations
face up to their global responsibilities and deliver huge cuts in
greenhouse gas emissions.’ The suit was organized by Roderick’s
group with Germanwatch and Friends of the Earth Germany to force
the German government to make public the records of taxpayer
supported programs that may have adverse environmental effects.

John Sohn, the Climate Justice Programme’s liaison in America,
is a lawyer with Friends of the Earth. Sohn, together with
Greenpeace, the City of Boulder (Colorado), and the city of Oakland
(California) have organized a lawsuit against two U.S. government
agencies that have allegedly funded fossil fuel projects without
taking into account the environmental effects. The National
Environmental Policy Act requires such accounting, and the agencies
(the Export-Import Bank and the Overseas Private Investment
Corporation) have refused to consider the environmental impact of
their funding activities.
Harry Sheff

Go there >>
Climate Justice: Enforcing
Climate Change Law

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