The case

Today, climate change is already threatening the human rights of millions of people all around the world. One direct consequence of climate change is worldwide sea level rise. In Pari Island in Indonesia, this has already caused damage to houses, roads and businesses. Pari’s residents must therefore take steps to protect their island. They themselves are paying the price, although they did not cause climate change. In addition, it is expected that by 2050, most of Pari Island will be flooded and the livelihoods of its 15,000 residents destroyed as a result of climate change. That is unjust.

Switzerland’s Holcim corporation is the world’s leading cement manufacturer and is one of the 50 largest corporate emitters of CO2 worldwide. Owing to its decades-long and excessive CO2 emissions, the corporation bears a substantial share of the responsibility for climate change. Representing the residents of Pari Island, Asmania, Arif, Edi and Bobby have therefore initiated legal action against Holcim.

They are calling on Holcim to:

  • provide proportional compensation for the climate-related damage they have suffered in Pari Island,
  • cut CO2 emissions by 43 per cent by 2030, compared to 2019 figures1.
  • contribute towards adaptation measures on Pari Island.

1or to reduce their emission according to the recommendations of the climate science in order to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

Who are Asmania, Arif, Edi and Bobby?

Asmania, Arif, Edi and Bobby are residents of Pari Island, which forms part of Indonesia. All four have suffered occupational damage or losses caused by the frequent flooding of the island. Asmania, Arif, Edi and Bobby have filed an application for conciliation in Zug, (Switzerland), where Holcim’s head office is located. The four are being supported by Walhi, the largest environmental network in Indonesia, by HEKS/EPER, and by the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), which is headquartered in Berlin.

What is the role of the Holcim cement corporation?

Holcim is the world’s leading manufacturer of cement, the basic material used to make concrete, and one of the 50 biggest CO2 emitters among all companies worldwide. Huge amounts CO2 are released during the production of cement. One study shows that the Swiss corporation emitted more than seven billion tonnes of CO2 between 1950 and 2021. That is 0.42 per cent of all global industrial CO2 emissions since the year 1750. Or more than twice the amount generated by Switzerland as a whole during the same period. This means that Holcim bears a substantial share of responsibility for the climate crisis and is the biggest “carbon major” in Switzerland.