CURRENT SOCIETAL CONCERNS
Elpidio V. Peria
9 April 2017
S. Africa’s climate activists taking action related to their climate suit against their government and a coal-fired power plant company
from : http://thegreentimes.co.za
A news article heralded one of the first climate change litigation efforts in South Africa whereas in India, a 9-year old girl sued the Government so it may speed up its climate change efforts, while in South Korea, a woman who is suffering from asthma along with her children, sued her government and China, so that the two countries will undertake common efforts to reduce the fine particulate dust resulting from the two country’s numerous cars and industries that exacerbate mainly air pollution in the two countries.
On 8 March 2017, the North Gauteng High Court handed down a landmark ruling in Earthlife Africa Johannesburg’s (ELA) case against the Minister of Environmental Affairs, the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), and Thabametsi Power Company (Pty) Limited.
The court said that Earthlife Africa (ELA) was correct in claiming that the Minister should have considered the new power station’s climate change impacts before deciding whether to authorise it.
The report also noted that no appeal has been lodged by any of the parties against the judgment, and the deadline for the lodging of an appeal has now expired, which makes such ruling, barring any other development, for all purposes, final.
In South Korea, Choi Yul, president of the Korean Green Foundation along with his attorney Ahn Kyung-jae, motivated five other individuals to lodge a joint lawsuit against Seoul and Beijing on Wednesday for physical and mental damages caused by the “fine dust” particles filling the air.
Each of the plaintiffs are demanding 3 million South Korean won ($2647) in compensation, but they say the money is only symbolic — what they really want to accomplish is to induce the two governments to reduce toxic smog, a result of too much dependency on carbon fuels and millions of cars.
In India, a 9-year old child, Ridhima Pandey, filed a petition with the National Green Tribunal (NGT), a special court for environment-related cases, asking the tribunal to direct the government “to take effective, science-based action to reduce and minimize the adverse impacts of climate change.”
These actions should encourage like-minded citizens all over the world to also take their own similar initiatives to spur their governments into action in addressing climate change.