A federal judge in San Francisco on August 24 authorized a coalition of environmental organizations and American cities to file a complaint against the United States government. The plaintiffs - the NGOs Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth as well as the four cities of Oakland, Santa Monica, Arcata (California) and Boulder (Colorado) - accuse two US federal development agencies - Overseas Private Investment Corp. and Export-Import Bank - the financing of oil and gas projects abroad that have a negative effect on climate change.
"This is the first time in the United States that justice has allowed citizens to file a complaint for the damage caused by industrial projects that would contribute to global warming," notes the San Francisco Chronicle. The complaint, filed in 2002, asks that the incriminated agencies, whose directors are appointed by the American president, "finance projects for the development of alternative energies more respectful of the environment than fossil fuels", reports the daily.
According to the complaint, “Funding for oil and gas projects, including power plants, oil fields, oil and gas pipelines, has amounted to $ 32 billion in ten years. However, these projects are responsible for the release of over 2,1 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide and methane each year, or about 8% of the world total and almost a third of American emissions. "