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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.
How do you elect political candidates who will make tackling climate change a priority? That’s the question Caroline Spears and her colleagues sought to answer when they launched the Climate Cabinet Action Fund in 2018, offering tailored climate data, policy ideas, and messaging suggestions to candidates and lawmakers.
Why This Matters: State legislatures play a critical role in crafting and passing policy — to lead on climate and energy policy, paving the way for ambitious national climate action.
By Amy Lupica, ODP Contributing Writer As Maui, Hawaii begins its “managed retreat” from its coastline due to sea-level rise caused by climate change, the county filed a lawsuit this week against big oil companies including ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, and ConocoPhillips to pay the costs of the move. The suit alleges that the companies knew […]
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