Climate Activists, Divestment, Miscellaneous

Civil, criminal and administrative trials against climate activists and protesters for trespassing, obstructing public order or resisting police are also gaining ever more importance.

In the Swiss case of Credit Suisse, decided in January 2020, several climate activists were charged with trespassing and fined 21,600 Swiss Francs for occupying a Credit Suisse branch and staging a tennis match in order to protest the bank’s fossil fuel investments and pressure tennis star Roger Federer to end his sponsorship arrangement with the institution. A Swiss judge subsequently found that because of the imminent danger of the climate crisis, the protesters had acted proportionately. The judge referred to the insufficient measures taken to date in Switzerland, holding that there is an imminent danger of global warming, and thus waived the fine against the activists.

At the same time, criminal charges are being brought against those responsible for emitting greenhouse gases and pursuing state policies detrimental to the environment. A very interesting case is a complaint brought against Brazilian president Bolsonaro at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Read more about this here.

Related to the climate crisis are also numerous refugee claims brought by people whose homes have become, or are doomed to become, destroyed or unlivable due to climate related extreme weather events. Read more in our special topics section here.

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