Madrid, Spain — Today, on the sidelines of COP 25 in Madrid, the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHR), represented by Commissioner Roberto Cadiz, announced that the 47 investor-owned corporations, including Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, Repsol, Sasol, and Total, could be found legally and morally liable for human rights harms to Filipinos resulting from climate change. [1] [2] In its groundbreaking investigation, the CHR also found the relevant criminal intent may exist to hold companies accountable under civil and criminal laws, in light of certain circumstances involving obstruction, willful obfuscation and climate denial.

The CHR has concluded that people affected by climate change and whose human rights have been dramatically harmed must have access to remedies and access to justice. Simply put, big polluters and other corporations have the responsibilities to protect human rights as we face the climate emergency.
Greenpeace Southeast Asia Executive Director Yeb Saño said:

“We applaud the statement of the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines. This is a historic moment for people and the planet, and a landmark victory for climate justice.

Today marks the beginning of the end to the fossil fuel industry’s stranglehold over our political systems. For the first time ever, big polluting companies have been found responsible for human rights harms resulting from the climate crisis. A growing number of climate cases are now being heard or filed across the world—and with the conclusion of this investigation, we believe many more communities will take a stand against fossil fuel companies that are putting profit before people.

The world is waking up to the fact that fossil fuel industry knowingly imperiled the safety and security of millions of people around the world for their own short term interests. It is an industry composed of the world’s largest and richest companies who rake in profits, while the poorest and most vulnerable communities reel from super typhoons and droughts made worse by climate change, and suffer from loss of lives and livelihoods in a world degraded by the impacts.

This is a vindication of the struggle of communities in the frontlines who are leading the movement to demand climate justice. We are calling on people all over the world to support the call for justice and hold governments and corporations accountable in order to accelerate a just transition to renewable energy and avert the worst impacts of climate change.”

The CHR’s announcement coincides with the start of the second week of the UN Climate negotiations, COP25.[3] The energy for change visible on the streets has not translated so far into energy at the negotiating tables or into a reduction of the role that fossil fuel companies play in the political process. It is time for decision-makers to prioritise people over polluters.”

Visit the Climate Change & Human Rights Inquiry Archive here.

Standing Up to Big Oil and Gas on Wall Street in New York. © Michael Nagle / Greenpeace
Demand climate justice

Filipinos are enduring the worst impacts of climate change, caused by greedy corporations. It’s time to hold them to account!