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Philippines Commission on Human Rights and Carbon Majors Investigation

Geographic relevance: Philippines

Language: English

Data type: Legal citations

About this resource:

Greenpeace Southeast Asia, other organisations and individuals filed a petition asking the Commission to investigate the relationship between human rights, climate change and the responsibilities of Carbon Majors. The Commission held fact-finding missions and public hearings in 2018.

In 2019, the Commission found that Carbon Majors could be held liable for climate change impacts. Although the Commission recognized that the legal responsibility of corporations for climate damage is not directly covered by current international human rights law, individual countries have a responsibility to pass laws and establish legal liability in their courts.

The Commission found that that existing civil law in the Philippines could be used to hold Carbon Majors liable and it may also be possible to hold companies criminally accountable “where they have been clearly proved to have engaged in acts of obstruction and wilful obfuscation.”

Finally, the Commission also concluded that Carbon Majors have a responsibility to respect human rights as articulated by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

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