European Court Rules Human Rights Violated by Climate Inaction

Apr 10 / Editor
As you know, here at OCC, we are always eager to keep you in the loop when it comes to climate change. This is why we are happy to share the news that a coalition of senior Swiss women have achieved a landmark victory in a climate lawsuit at the European Court of Human Rights.

These women, predominantly in their 70s, argued that due to their age and gender, they were especially susceptible to the health risks posed by climate-induced heatwaves.

The court criticized Switzerland for not adequately achieving its goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, marking this occasion as the court's inaugural ruling on a case concerning climate change. Environmental activists, including Greta Thunberg, were present to celebrate this victory in Strasbourg.

The plaintiffs, known as the Senior Women for Climate Protection, have been advocating for improved climate policies, stressing the health risks they face during heatwaves. This ruling, which is mandatory, may influence legislation across 46 European nations, including the UK, by highlighting Switzerland's failure to fulfill its climate change obligations.

The court identified significant shortcomings in Switzerland's climate strategies, particularly in its failure to specify greenhouse gas reduction measures. The judgment arrives amid reports of record-breaking global temperatures, underscoring the urgency of addressing climate change. Despite Switzerland's claims of prioritizing sustainability and biodiversity, the ruling and the global climate crisis call for more immediate action. Other cases related to climate change were reviewed but not upheld, emphasizing the unique success of the Senior Women for Climate Protection.

This case underscores the increasing role of legal actions in steering climate policy and the broad implications of such rulings for global efforts to combat climate change.

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