Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Indonesian Islanders File Holcim Climate Complaint

Residents of the Indonesian island of Pulau Pari have filed a complaint against the cement giant Holcim, demanding compensation for climate damage, in the first move of its kind in Switzerland, the NGO backing them announced Wednesday.

The case is part of a wider international movement asking major companies to assume their responsibilities in the face of climate change which affects the livelihoods of millions of people, especially in the Global South.

"For the first time, a Swiss company must answer for its role in contributing to climate change in court," said Swiss Church Aid (HEKS), a non-governmental organisation which advocates for climate justice.

The complaint, brought by four residents, requests that Holcim pay compensation for the damage already caused on the island and finance flood protection measures.

They also demand that the Swiss group rapidly reduce its carbon dioxide emissions.

"The world market leader in the cement branch is doing too little to reduce its emissions so that global warming does not exceed 1.5 degrees (Celsius)," said HEKS, referring to the aspirational target set in the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.

Pulau Pari, north of Jakarta, risks disappearing under water and flooded five times last year, according to the NGO.

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