Greenpeace Italy and ReCommon hit with ‘SLAPP’ lawsuit by fossil fuel company ENI 

ROME, Italy, 26 July 2023 – While a devastating climate emergency ravages Italy this summer, fossil fuel giant ENI has today filed a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) against Greenpeace Italy and ReCommon, in an attempt to counter their joint legal campaign The Just Cause.

On 9 May, Greenpeace Italy, ReCommon and 12 Italian citizens impacted by the climate crisis launched a civil lawsuit against ENI for the climate damage they are contributing to by continuing to invest in fossil fuels.[1] This landmark legal action is the first initiative of its kind against a private company in Italy, and garnered significant international media attention. Greenpeace Italy believes that this has prompted ENI to lash out with a SLAPP today to try to intimidate the claimants into silence. 

Chiara Campione, head of Greenpeace Italy’s Climate Unit, said: “This is an attempt to intimidate us, but we will continue to expose ENI’s responsibility for their part in the climate crisis. It is paradoxical that, just as Italy is devastated by the impacts of the fossil-fuelled climate crisis, ENI is seeking compensation from people who are advocating for vital changes to energy policy. By continuing to invest in oil and gas, ENI, along with other carbon majors, is threatening people’s right to live in a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. ENI’s leadership must know that their lawsuit will only motivate us even more in our battle to defend the climate for present and future generations.” 

SLAPPs are civil lawsuits that are brought by powerful organisations or individuals to deter public protest, in order to syphon economic resources from the defendants.[2] This type of lawsuit is a well-known corporate strategy to stifle any criticism and protest, and is often based on unfounded accusations. Greenpeace Italy and ReCommon say this legal case will not stop them from demanding that ENI abandons fossil fuel destruction to preserve life on the planet in all its forms. 

ENI has not specified the exact financial demands it plans to make against Greenpeace Italy and ReCommon, but according to their pre-action letter, the compensation demanded will exceed 50,000 euros for each organisation. The company alleges damages for defamation.

Antonio Tricarico of ReCommon said: “We knew that the changes that are needed would not come easily when we launched the Just Cause campaign, and we chose to do it because no risk is greater than the damage to our climate. We intend to resist this attempt of intimidation by ENI and ask for the support of all people who care about climate justice.” 




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