(by Boshra Yazahmeidi)
The Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHR) made history in July by calling an investigation into the human rights violations of 47 of the world’s largest cement, oil, coal, and mining companies through their contribution to climate change.
As part of the investigation, the CHR requested the companies to comment on the human rights allegations made in a petition submitted by 14 organisations and 18 individuals. Twenty companies have responded since July. Independent experts have also presented submissions to the CHR.
In early December 2016, the CHR announced that it will commence public hearings from April 2017. These will be webcast due to their relevance to other communities and overall global significance.
According to the Executive Director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Yeb Sano, “As long as companies and governments fail to act on climate change, every day is human rights day. Today, we got much closer to our aspiration of holding those most responsible for the climate crisis accountable, in order to prevent further harm”.
This is the world’s first national investigation into human right violations caused by climate change. A previous article on this case can be accessed here.