Last month, the commission gathered climate scientists to serve as expert witnesses in the hearings. Several scientists believe that extreme weather events like Storm Desmond, which hit the UK in December, are linked to climate change. Moreover, they emphasize fossil-fuel emissions as key factors in exacerbating climate change.
The Philippines is one of the world’s countries most exposed to natural disasters. Weather-related catastrophes affected 130 billion people in the Philippines between 1995 and 2015. In 2013, Typhoon Haiyan killed more than 6,300 people.
The hearing will consider whether companies’ policies and investments appropriately protected the human rights issues specified in the petition.
But, can one company be held accountable for a minuscule contribution to world-wide phenomena that scientists are still struggling to understand? Can today’s oil companies be blamed for potentially-harmful practices that span back to the industrial revolution? What precedent would such a ruling set?
These and other questions will be answered at the hearing.