Case - Switzerland - Asmania and others vs. Holcim

Asmania and others vs. Holcim

Summary of facts

On February 1st 2023 four inhabitants of the Indonesian island of Pari have filed a civil lawsuit against Swiss-based major buildings materials company Holcim. The legal basis on which the plaintiffs rely their claim for compensation, reduction of CO2 emissions and financial contribution to adoption measures are Article 28 of the Swiss Civil Code (infringement of personal rights) and Article 41 of the Code of Obligations (redress for unjust harm). Concerning Holcim's historical emissions, the plaintiffs rely on a Study by Richard Heede/Climate Accountability Institute.

The case was filed at the court of first instance after a compulsory mediation procedure at the peace judge in Switzerland had ended without an agreement.


2023 Court of First Instance: Cantonal Court of Zug (Kantonsgericht Zug)

Applicable Law
Legal issues

The plaintiffs request:

  • proportional compensation for climate change-related damages on Pari
  • reduction of CO2 emissions by 43 % by 2030 and by 69% by 2040, relative to 2019 levels
  • financial contribution to adaptation measures on Pari

Ruling / Outcome

In October 2023, Cantonal Court of Zug granted the plaintiffs’ request for free legal aid (art. 117 et seq Civil Procedure Code). According to a press release of HEKS, the judge held that the two requirements for granting free legal aid, (a) insufficient sufficient funds to pay for legal cost and (b) the legal petition does not seem to be lacking any chance of success, were met.

A decision on the merits is still outstanding.

Note: Court documents are currently not available

Court case

Asmania and others vs. Holcim

Filed: February 1, 2023
Status: Ongoing