Environmental Court Cases: Global Legal Action on Climate Change

Natural Justice has developed a series of summaries of significant court cases from across the world related to climate change and rights of nature. These are designed for the public, policy makers and practitioners and provide a snapshot of cases that are being brought to courts in order to advance the protection and rights of nature, including seeking ways to hold governments accountable for their international commitments to reducing carbon emissions.

Global Legal Action on Climate Change v. The Philippines Government

Applicants sought relief from dangers arising from flooding, which is expected to worsen and become more extreme as climate change intensifies. The applicants asked the court to issue a writ of mandamus (an order for a government official to take a particular action) requiring the defendant government agencies to carry out the provisions of two flood control laws. The first law, Republic Act 6716 (“the Rainwater Collector and Springs Development Law”) requires each Filipino locality to own and maintain a rainwater collector to provide them with fresh drinking water in the event of flooding. The second, Act 7160 (also known as Local Code of 1991), sets forth the responsibilities of local governments with respect to water management. The applicants alleged that government actors are not complying with these two statutes, which will be increasingly harmful to residents of the typhoon-prone Philippines.

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