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CHR to probe global polluters for rights violations

Graphic: Pasig River, Manila

The inquiry into so-called 50 "carbon majors" is the first of its kind in the world by a national human rights institution.

The Commission on Human Rights has announced that it will support a petition filed in the Philippines by environmental advocacy groups seeking an investigation of 50 international "carbon majors."

Inquirer.net reports that the CHR will investigate multinationals, such as Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell, for violating human rights through environmental pollution.

The 50 carbon majors operate mostly in the oil, gas and coal-extraction industries.

The report highlights that this inquiry by the CHR is the first of its kind in the world, with the potential to hold non-state actors proven responsible for emitting large amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to legal account.

Commissioner Roberto Cadiz said the CHR will commence the investigation of the 50 companies – identified in a scholarly study published in 2014 as "carbon majors" – on 10 December, Human Rights Day.

The CHR will work with United Nations human rights agencies to determine how to encourage the majors to respond to the lawsuit.

In the Philippines, the CHR will consult the Climate Change Commission and other government agencies, conduct public hearings and investigate human rights violations among communities placed at risk.

Date: 4 December 2015

Source: Inquirer.net

Image credits

  1. Pasig River, Manila - Robert Verzo, Flickr / CC BY 2.0; http://bit.ly/1U6HiSc