Reuters online blog: US$1 billion lawsuit mulled against world leaders for global warming?

[Editor’s note: The news in the following Reuters blog post was first reported here at RushPRnews in an article by Mitchell Anderson from DeSmogBlog. Dan Bloom is a RushPRnews reporter. The “story” has now been picked up by Reuters Environment Blog online, posted there by Aaron Gray-Block.]

AMSTERDAM(RushPRNews)11/30/08 — In a global stunt, a U.S. environmental activist is poised to lodge a $1 billion damages class action lawsuit at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Netherlands against all world leaders for failing to prevent global warming.

Activist and blogger Dan Bloom says he will sue world leaders for “intent to commit manslaughter against future generations of human beings by allowing murderous amounts of fossil fuels to be harvested, burned and sent into the atmosphere as CO2″.

He intends to lodge the lawsuit in the week starting December 6.

The prosecutor’s office at the ICC, the world’s first permanent court (pictured below right) for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity, told Reuters that it is allowed to receive information on crimes that may fall within the court’s jurisdiction from any source.

“Such information does not per se trigger a judicial proceeding,” the prosecutor’s office hastened to add.

The question is: will or should the prosecutor take on the case?

One might argue in defence that world leaders are in fact trying to impose climate-saving measures. In Vienna last year, almost all rich nations agreed to consider cuts in greenhouse emissions of 25-40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. Talks on a new climate treaty will be held in Poznan, Poland, from December 1-12.

Rajendra Pachauri, head of the U.N. Climate Panel, known as the IPCC, says the cuts are needed to limit temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius, an amount seen by the EU, some other nations and many environmentalists as a threshold for “dangerous” climate change.

Granted then that there is growing consensus that climate change poses a real threat, is it not only world leaders who are failing to prevent global warming?

Perhaps the global collective of individuals, governments and industry is to blame and the ICC lawsuit a valid publicity stunt in the constant battle to raise awareness and prompt action?

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Source: Reuters News Service
Reporter: Aaron Gray-Block

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