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 file a complaint for injury caused by industrial projects that would contribute to global warming," notes the San Francisco Chronicle. The complaint, filed in 2002, demands that the agencies accused, whose directors are appointed by the US president, "fund alternative energy projects more environmentally friendly than fossil fuels", reports the daily.
According to the complaint, "the financing of oil and gas projects, including power stations, oil fields, oil and gas pipelines, amounted to 32 billion in ten years. Yet these projects are responsible for the addition of more than 2,1 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide and methane each year, or about 8% of the world total and almost a third of US emissions. "