Vanuatu to sue fossil fuel firms for climate change

(Eco Business, 24 Nov 2018) As the small Pacific island state grapples with the threat of rising sea levels caused by global warming, major fossil fuel companies find themselves in deep water as the country plans to take them to court over their contributions to climate change.

With most of its 82 islands sitting just less than one metre above sea level, the low-lying Pacific nation of Vanuatu faces high risk of becoming inundated by the world’s rising seas if drastic measures are not taken to limit global warming.

The island archipelago has therefore announced that it is considering suing fossil fuel companies for their role in driving climate change, as global courtrooms turn into new battlegrounds for climate action.

Speaking via a video statement on the Climate Vulnerable Forum’s Virtual Summit on Thursday, Vanuatu’s minister of foreign affairs Ralph Regenvanu revealed that the country was exploring ways to take legal action against the “fossil fuel companies, the financial institutions and the governments that actively and knowingly” contribute to the climate crisis and the severe threats faced by Vanuatu as the world struggles to keep global temperatures below 2 degrees celcius. 

“I am therefore today putting the fossil fuel industry, and the states that sponsor it, on notice that the climate loss and the damages ravaging Vanuatu will not go unchallenged,” said Regenvanu.

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Eco Business, 24 Nov 2018: Vanuatu to sue fossil fuel firms for climate change