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These climate change activists range from ages 8 to 21. The case comes on the tail-end of an almost three-year crowdfunding effort that began in October 2017, and is now supported by the Global Legal Action Network.
As one of the activists, Catarina Mota, aged 20, told reporters, “I live with the feeling that every year my home becomes a more hostile place.” She continues, “If I have children, what kind of world shall I bring them up in? These are real concerns that I have everyday.”
Strengthening Litigation: As Annalisa Savaresi, a senior lecturer in environmental law at the University of Stirling, told Farand, this is a “really interesting” case, because it could “strengthen the basis for climate litigation to be brought on human rights grounds.”
However, as Savaresi noted, the case may face one “big hurdle.” According to CHN, following the criteria of the ECHR, a case may only be brought “after all domestic remedies have been exhausted,” which means that the case must be taken to the “highest available court in all 33 countries.”
Furthermore, the Global Legal Action Network is, according to Farand, “applying for an exception to the rule, on the basis pursuing 33 parallel cases is not practical, not least because of financial constraints.” Experts currently disagree as to whether the court will accept this exception.
A Historical Precedent?
This is not the first climate change case that has been brought by young people. Indeed, in 2015, youth activists filed Juliana v. U.S. against the US government. According to Our Children’s Trust, the case asserted that “through the government’s affirmative actions that cause climate change, it has violated the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property, as well as failed to protect essential public trust resources.” The case was eventually thrown out by a federal appeals court in 2020.
In a little-noticed report that could have major implications for both the Eastern U.S. and Europe, scientists announced last week that Atlantic Ocean currents are thought to be 15% weaker than in 1950. The Washington Post explained, saying that the “system of currents that includes the Florida Current and the Gulf Stream, is now ‘in its weakest state in over a millennium.'”
Why This Matters: We need to understand both these phenomena better to predict climate events. They are quite a coincidence.
“You can’t find a Utahn who doesn’t really care about clean air and clean water.” @RepJohnCurtis said his goal is to find ways “to make them feel more comfortable [politically] talking about it.” @LeeDavi49903322 #climate https://t.co/jVpPBJq0GE — CCL Salt Lake City (@CCLsaltlake) February 19, 2021 By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer Representative John Curtis of […]
Climate change is the biggest threat facing the world, and yesterday’s United Nations Security Council meeting was focused on the topic. United States climate envoy John Kerry, who participated in the virtual meeting, warned that ignoring the crisis and its threats to global security would mean “marching forward to what is almost tantamount to a mutual suicide pact.”
Why this Matters: Global food security, poverty rates, and public health are all negatively impacted by climate change. These destabilizing forces are already driving people to migrate and shifting power balances on the international stage.
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