A Melting Glacier, An Imperiled City And A Farmer’s Fight For Climate Justice

"A Peruvian farmer is suing one of Europe’s biggest emitters. The case could set a precedent for holding polluters accountable for harm to the planet."

"THE CORDILLERA BLANCA, Peru — Once, this was where Saúl Luciano Lliuya came to find peace. The mountain’s pristine beauty ensured his livelihood as a guide; its steady stream of fresh water sustained his family farm. The everlasting ice that gleamed from its rugged crest spoke of a world in balance.

But on this May morning, Luciano Lliuya surveyed Nevado Palcaraju with his eyes narrowed, his forehead creased. The glacier was almost gone, transformed by rising temperatures from solid ice into a large, unstable lagoon. At any moment, an avalanche or rockslide could cause the turquoise meltwater to surge over its banks, hurtle down the mountainside and deluge the city of Huaraz, where he and some 120,000 others lived.

“Muy pensativo,” Luciano Lliuya described his mood in Spanish. Overthinking. Under pressure.

For seven years, Luciano Lliuya has waged a lawsuit against the German energy company RWE — part of a growing cohort of activists who have turned to the courts for climate justice as political solutions remain out of reach."

Sarah Kaplan reports for the Washington Post with photos by Angela Ponce and videos by Kevin Ylan Zacarias Zumaeta August 28, 2022.


Source: Washington Post, 08/30/2022