The highest point of the Indonesian island Pari stands at 1.5 meters above sea level – for now. Climate change has been causing the water to rise steadily for years, endangering the livelihoods of the island residents, who are struggling more frequently with increasingly severe flooding. By 2050 at the latest, most of the island will be under water. But the people on Pari do not want to simply accept the demise of their homeland: they are taking legal action in Switzerland against one of the world’s largest emitters of climate-damaging greenhouse gases, the cement company Holcim.
Four residents of Pari island, with the support of ECCHR, the Swiss organization HEKS/EPER and the Indonesian Forum for Environment (WALHI – Friends of the Earth Indonesia), appealed to the Swiss judiciary in July 2022. After a fruitless conciliation hearing, the affected parties filed a civil suit against Holcim in January 2023. They are demanding that Holcim significantly reduce its CO₂ emissions as rapidly as possible. Their appeal is also noteworthy as they are urging the company to pay compensation for loss and damages already incurred, as well as to finance urgently needed flood protection measures.