Domestic court Emissions reductions/mitigation Fossil fuel extraction Guyana Right to a healthy environment

Thomas & De Freitas v. Guyana

On 21 May 2021, two Guayanese citizens filed a case in the domestic courts of Guayana, alleging that their constitutional rights had been violated by Guyana’s approval of oil exploration licences to a joint venture involving ExxonMobil and other corporations. They invoked the government’s duty to protect their right to a healthy environment, as well as the right of future generations to the same.

The case documents are not yet available. However, the case has been reported widely. For more information, see:

Background information:
The Human Rights Committee had previously voiced concerns about the oil exploitation licenses granted by the Guayanese government. In its 2020 List of Issues, it asked the Government to provide information on “concerns that large scale oil extraction significantly increases greenhouse gas emissions, causes ocean acidification and
rising sea-levels, and adversely affects the most vulnerable groups in the State party, including the Amerindian and fishery-dependent communities and individuals living in poverty’.