Martin Wagner, the Earthjustice attorney handling the case, said of the filing, "The rights to retain one's culture, life, food, and health are fundamental in international law. Global warming violates these rights by melting the ice, snow and permafrost, changing the weather, and radically altering every aspect of the arctic environment on which Inuit lives and culture depend.
"The United States makes up only five percent of the world's population, but emits one-quarter of global greenhouse pollution. This petition calls on the United States to respect its human rights obligations and take effective action to immediately reduce its contribution to the Inuit's injuries," said Wagner.
CIEL Senior Attorney Donald Goldberg noted that the harm Inuit are experiencing today will soon be felt by people around the globe. "No country can protect itself from the damage that inevitably will result as the Earth undergoes changes never before experienced in human history," observed Mr. Goldberg. "The hurricanes of 2005 demonstrate beyond doubt that even the world's wealthiest nations are at grave risk."
The petition focuses on the United States of America because it is by far the largest emitter of greenhouse gases and refuses to join the international effort to reduce emissions. The petition asks the Commission to declare the United States in violation of rights affirmed in the 1948 American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man and other instruments of international law.
In addition, the petition:
Download the Full Petition (2 MB PDF file)
Brian Smith, 415-320-9384
Martin Wagner, 510-550-6700 mobile: 510-717-5659
Donald Goldberg, CIEL 202-390-3050