A Peruvian guide and Greek fisherman in the fight for a healthy environment

Saúl Luciano Lliuya, a farmer and guide from the Peruvian town of Huaraz, located at the foot of the Andean mountain Palcaraju, is fighting in court for climate justice against the German company RWE. Invoking scientific studies that associate pollution from the power plant to the retreating glacier on the Palcaraju, the Peruvian farmer argues that Germany should help fund safeguards to prevent water from the melting glacier from overflowing the banks of the lagoon and destroying Huaraz. RWE’s lawyers argue that the relationship between greenhouse gas emissions and climate impacts is too complex for anyone to be held responsible. According to experts, the possible success of Peruvian activists in court would mean that the world’s biggest polluters would start paying for the effects of greenhouse gas emissions.

Lefteris Arapakis, whose family has been sailing the waters around Athens for five generations, founded in 2016 a non-profit organisation dedicated to cleaning up marine plastics and educating people about sustainable fishing. Enaleia, Arapakis’ organisation, pays each crew member between $30 and $90 every month for the plastic collected (depending on how much they bring with them from the sea). Six years after the project began; fishermen from hundreds of Greek ships are collecting plastic in the Mediterranean. Italy is also involved in the project, and Arapakis intends to go global and collect almost 200 t of plastic this year – enough to fill a football pitch with a metre-and-a-half high layer of tiny pieces of plastic.

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