Historic policy from the European Court of Human Rights: slipping from emission targets violates some human rights | News in brief

Historic policy from the European Court of Human Rights slipping

The European Court of Human Rights issued three decisions on Tuesday. One of them states that governments violate some human rights when they miss emission targets.

On Tuesday, the European Court of Human Rights has for the first time taken a position on whether governments are doing enough to prevent global warming.

The court sitting in Strasbourg supervises compliance with the European Convention on Human Rights. In the middle of the day, it gave an answer to three lawsuits filed in court.

The lawsuits were filed by the mayor of the French municipality of Grande-Synthe, a group of six Portuguese youths and the Swiss group Verein KlimaSeniorinnen, which has more than 2,000 members.

Each lawsuit stated that countries’ governments are not doing enough to combat climate change.

The Court of Human Rights rejected the French and Portuguese claims. The court considered that the lawsuits must first be processed in the national legal system before being processed by the Human Rights Court.

However, the Human Rights Court ruled in favor of the group of elderly Swiss women and condemned Switzerland’s actions. The women had filed a lawsuit against the Swiss government, claiming that the government’s actions are woefully inadequate in the fight against climate change.

The Human Rights Court considers that the Swiss government has violated some human rights because it has not kept to the climate goals.

In the chapter of the decision, the president of the court stated that the Swiss government had violated the human right to private and family life, when it had failed to enact sufficient national legislation to combat climate change.

– This concerns, among other things, the failure to control greenhouse gas emissions with the help of a carbon budget or something else, O’Leary said.

Decisions cannot be appealed.

A historic decision

This is the first time that international law rules on climate change. Nationally, justice has been done before.

– The alternation of extreme heat waves and rains and greenhouse gases are suffocating us. I’m worried about the increase in repetition, said the 16-year-old member of the Portuguese youth group before the decision André dos Santos Oliveira.

They feel that inaction to stop global warming violates their basic rights and that’s why they filed a lawsuit against Portugal and 32 other governments.

– The victory of the Swiss is also our victory, said the Portuguese after the decision Sofia Oliveira.

The Human Rights Court had accelerated the processing of claims and, exceptionally, had taken up the case of the Portuguese youths without first hearing it in the national judiciary.

The decisions of the Human Rights Court are not binding on its 46 member countries, but the guidelines provide a precedent on which future lawsuits in different courts can be based.

– The decision regarding Switzerland sets a precedent that shows how in the future you can successfully file a lawsuit against your own government, says the campaign director of the American organization Avaaz Ruth Delbaere.

10th month in a row with record heat

March was the tenth consecutive month when the Earth broke a monthly global heat record. Both air and sea temperatures reached a new record in measurement history, says the European environmental information service network Copernicus.

According to Copernicus, the average temperature in March was 14.14 degrees. It beat the previous March record from 2016 by a tenth of a degree.

According to experts, the record is not a surprise due to the strong El Niño phenomenon.

– Combined with other marine heat waves, these records have become breathtaking, says the climate scientist Jennifer Francis From the Woodwell Climate Research Center.

Corrected on April 9, 2024 at 2:30 p.m.: The rejected decisions were French and Portuguese, not French and Swiss as previously stated in the story.

AP, Reuters