A federal judge in San Francisco has cleared the 24 August, a coalition of environmental organizations and US cities to bring charges against the US government. The plaintiffs - the NGOs Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth and the four cities of Oakland, Santa Monica, Arcata (California) and Boulder (Colorado) - Two federal agencies criticized American development - Overseas Private Investment Corp. and Export-Import Bank - finance oil and gas projects abroad having a negative effect on climate change.
"This is the first time in the United States that justice allows citizens to complain about the harm caused by industrial projects that contribute to global warming," notes the San Francisco Chronicle. The complaint, filed in 2002, asks that the offending agencies, whose directors are appointed by the US president, "finance alternative energy development projects that are more environmentally friendly than fossil fuels," the newspaper reports.
According to the complaint, "The financing of oil and gas projects, including power plants, oil fields, pipelines and pipelines, amounted to 32 billion in ten years. These projects are responsible for the release of more than 2,1 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide and methane each year, about 8% of the global total and nearly one third of US emissions. "