• Germany's news in English

Peruvian farmer sues German energy giant

AFP · 25 Nov 2015, 08:12

Published: 25 Nov 2015 08:12 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

In what the pressure group Germanwatch called a first in Europe, RWE will face legal action by the plaintiff Saul Luciano Lliuya before the regional court in the western German city of Essen, where RWE is based.

The lawsuit argues that RWE "is partly responsible for glacial melting in the Andes and thus also for the danger to his house which lies at the foot of the mountains," Germanwatch, which is advising Lliuya, said in a statement.

It said Lliuya, who is also a mountain guide, was seeking an unspecified "financial contribution" from RWE to "safety measures at the lake above the city, which has grown immensely as a result of glacial melting".

Germanwatch said he was seeking "payment... proportional to the company's contribution to climate change".

Contacted by AFP, RWE did not issue a detailed response, saying only that it had learned of the legal action through the media.

"Every day I see the glaciers melting and the lakes in the mountains growing," it quoted Lliuya as saying.

"For us in the valley the threat is extreme. We can't just wait and see what will happen," he added, calling on "international companies which change the climate by emitting greenhouse gases" to assume "responsibility".

His lawyer Roda Verheyen described RWE as the "top single-greatest CO2-emitter in Europe" and said it was responsible for 0.5 percent of the total emissions "since the beginning of industrialisation".

Verheyen said that large pieces of melting ice could break off the glaciers and crash into Peru's Pallqaqucha lake, risking massive flooding. As a result, he said, a new drainage system and reinforcement of the lake's dams were needed.

The case comes just days before the UN climate summit in Paris starting Monday with the aim of negotiating a universal pact to cap global warming.

RWE, Germany's second biggest energy company and biggest electricity producer, this month said it saw profits from its core coal and gas business plummet again in the first nine months of the year.

Like other German power giants, RWE has been hit by rock-bottom wholesale prices as it competes against subsidised renewables like wind and solar power.


For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Parents who don't get nursery spot for kid entitled to pay
Photo: DPA

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Thursday that parents whose children don't receive placements in nursery care are entitled to compensation.

Eurowings braces as cabin crew union proclaims strike
Photo: DPA

A union representing cabin crew for Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings announced that strikes could take place at any time over the next two weeks, starting on Monday.

Mysterious German U-boat wreckage found off Scotland
Photo: ScottishPower

First World War U-boat "attacked by sea monster” thought to be found off Scottish coast.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd