Greenpeace to PNoy: Sue Companies Who Indirectly Caused Typhoon Yolanda

Among the areas devastated by Typhoon Yolanda.  Photo credit: www.khou.com.
Among the areas devastated by Typhoon Yolanda.
Photo credit: www.khou.com.

International environmental group Greenpeace believes that President Benigno Aquino III should take the lead in suing companies who had caused various adverse climate change impacts, including the super typhoon Yolanda [Haiyan].  The group believes that the Filipinos, as victims of the devastating effects caused by climate change should demand that the culprits be responsible for the harm they caused.

Based on reports gathered by Greenpeace, the world’s largest fossil fuel companies are answerable to these climate changes.  They have a list of the companies who play a major role in the increase of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere; in turn, the increased levels cause climate change in the form of extreme storms, periods of drought, fires, melting of snow and ice, floods, and rise in sea levels.

Greenpeace urges PNoy to bring the matter before an international court, adding that they have named the companies in a recent report published in the scientific journal Climactic Change just last month.  The group also released a copy of the report in at a press conference in Quezon City held Thursday.

Kumi Naidoo, the executive director of Greenpeace International, believes that the report is quite significant because the ability to pinpoint the alleged culprits ensures that they can be held accountable for their actions.  Naidoo likens this to factories sued for runoffs or dumping of toxic material into lakes and other water bodies.  Greenpeace believes that just as these factories could be sued for the toxic chemicals, so can those that release chemicals into the atmosphere.

According to the report, the top 5 gas emitters are ChevronTexaco (USA), ExxonMobil (USA), Saudi Aramco (Saudi Arabia), BP (UK), and Gazprom (Russian Federation).

Other companies in the top 20 include BHP Billiton (Australia), Consol Energy,Inc. (USA), Sonatrach (Algeria), Abu Dhabi NOC (UAE), Kuwait Petroleum Corp. (Kuwait), PetroChina (China), Total (France), Peabody Energy (USA), Coal India (India), Petroleos de Venezuela (Venezuela), ConocoPhillips (USA), British Coal Corporation (UK), Pemex (Mexico), National Iranian Oil Company (Iran), and Royal Dutch Shell (The Netherlands).

Greenpeace have urged these companies to stop exploiting fossil fuels, a non-renewable energy source which is also known for its negative impacts to the environment due to the emission of carbon dioxide and other so-called greenhouse gases.  Despite calls from the group, it is alleged that the companies continue with that they have been doing, not letting up their plans to use more of these fossil fuels.

With continued use and exploitation of the fossil fuels by these companies, they get to profit at the expense of the environment.

Aside from urging the president to take legal action against the above-listed companies, Greenpeace also tried to persuade the Philippine government to seek alternative and renewable energy sources, creating a sustainable master plan that is environment-friendly.

Greenpeace Southeast Asia’s Regional Climate and Energy Campaigner Amalie Obusan said that the Visayas region has an abundance of renewable energy resources which the government could tap for power generation instead of using fossil fuels which have caused the adverse climate effects that led to Yolanda.

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