A group of Italian citizens, Greenpeace Italy and ReCommon have appealed to the Italian Supreme Court, seeking a pivotal ruling in their climate litigation against the fossil fuel company ENI, the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) and Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), which is pending in the Court of Rome[1]. The appeal aims for the Supreme Court to declare that the Italian judiciary can and should decide on such a case. 

“The appeal to the Supreme Court of Cassation stems from the need to protect at the highest judicial level our human rights endangered by the human-made climate emergency.” Greenpeace Italy and ReCommon state: “We can no longer stall, we need to act now. That is why we have decided to turn to the Supreme Court to forcefully advance our demand for climate justice. Despite what it has publicly stated on several occasions, ENI seems to have little intention of entering into the merits of the allegations we have made against it in the Just Cause case[2] about its past, present and future impact on people and our planet.”

In mid-February, the Court of Rome held its first hearing[3] in the “Just Cause” climate lawsuit. The judge agreed to set another hearing to rule on the preliminary objections raised by ENI, MEF and CDP. These objections include a claim for an “absolute defect of jurisdiction,” which could dismiss the case before the matters are examined in depth. Such an outcome would set a dangerous precedent, potentially barring future climate litigation in Italian courts, against both the State or private companies.

This decision would stand in stark contrast to the recent April 9 ruling of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in the case of the Klimaseniorinnen[4] in which the ECtHR upheld the right of people and associations to seek justice in court for State’s failure to address the climate crisis. 

The Greenpeace Italy and ReCommon report, “ENI Knew[5] discovered that ENI was well aware of its contribution to climate change but chose to ignore it for decades. It is imperative that courts uphold people’s rights and close the accountability gap by applying the law, even in complex matters. 

ENI must take responsibility for its harmful policies and invest in ambitious action to limit the impacts of the climate crisis on people and the planet.


Read the media briefing (in Italian)

Notes to Editors:

[1] Greenpeace Italy and ReCommon: “ENI chooses a consultant who has supported climate denialism to defend itself from climate lawsuit that sees it on trial”. First hearing tomorrow 

[2] Just cause case media briefing 

[3]Italian citizens and organisations sue fossil fuel company ENI for human rights violations and climate change impacts

[4]Victory for Swiss Senior Women for Climate Protection: Climate protection is a human right – Greenpeace International [5] “ENI Knew”, a report by Greenpeace Italy and ReCommon