November 13, 2017 / 6:20 PM / in a month

German court gives initial backing to hear climate activist's suit against RWE

BERLIN (Reuters) - A German court on Monday gave its initial backing to hearing a lawsuit by a climate activist suing energy utility RWE for its role in causing climate change, in a test case other environmentalists will be watching closely.

Peruvian farmer Saúl Lliuya launched an appeal with the higher regional court in Hamm after a lower court last year rejected his call for compensation from RWE.

In his appeal he argued that greenhouse gas emissions from RWE’s plants were partly to blame for melting an Andean glacier that is threatening to cause flooding and damage his house.

On Monday, the court in Hamm said that at present it considered the plaintiff’s claim to be conclusive and that it would decide on Nov. 30 whether or not to hear evidence on the matter.

RWE on Monday dismissed the farmer’s complaint as unfounded, saying a single emitter could not be held responsible for global warming. The court said it has given RWE a chance to respond in writing to its views.

Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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