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Der Klimawandel als zunehmendes Haftungsrisiko für „Carbon Majors“

Saul A. Lliuya v. RWE im Kontext der internationalen Climate Change Litigation

Mareike Rumpf


This article analyses the case of Lliuya v. RWE in light of recent developments relating to international climate change litigation. First, it highlights the core legal questions which arise under German law in the context of climate change. As the claimant is raising a civil law claim under domestic law, one of the crucial issues is the definition of neighborhood according to the relevant provisions of German civil law. Moreover, as in many other legal systems, a causal link must be established between the CO2 emissions caused by RWE and the melting of the Palcacocha-Glacier in Peru which may then imply the risk of a flooding and hence of damaging the claimant’s house. The author moves on to examining other possible claims for climate damages under German law and describes the circumstances under which German law could be applicable in common law states according to international private law and vice versa. Finally, the author emphasizes the possible relevance of the case in setting a precedence also with regard to the international context for proving causality and stresses the raising risk for corporations of being sued for climate change. In doing so, the article also takes into account other cases such as those of environmental impact assessment and permission contesting which also affect companies already today.

Ass. iur. Mareike Rumpf ist wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin am Institut für Internationale Angelegenheiten der Universität Hamburg.

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