German news agency dpa reports that Saul Lliuya, who lives in the Andean city of Huaraz, is seeking up to 17,000 euros ($18,023) from RWE to pay for flood protection measures.
Dpa quotes Lliuya’s lawyer Roda Verheyen as saying that a melting glacier is raising water levels of a nearby lake, turning it into a “time bomb.” It was not clear why the suit targets RWE.
The case, which opened Thursday at the Essen regional court, is unlikely to succeed. Similar cases against other energy companies elsewhere have failed in the past.
However, environmentalists hope Lliuya’s case will highlight the impact emissions from fossil fuels—such as in RWE’s coal-fueled power plants—have on people around the world.