Young people sue EU countries for more climate protection

09/26/2023 5:52 pm (current 09/26/2023 5:52 pm)

The case is being heard at the ECtHR in Strasbourg. ©APA/dpa

A lawsuit filed by six children and young people against 32 European countries calling for more climate protection will be heard on Wednesday at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg. Young Portuguese people between the ages of 11 and 24 accuse European countries of worsening the climate crisis and thus endangering the future of their generations.

The push against EMGR was described by the media and environmental groups as “historic” and “the biggest climate lawsuit ever.” In addition to the age of the plaintiffs, the size of the trial and the number of accused countries are unusual. A Portuguese spokeswoman said more than 80 lawyers would be present in court on behalf of the reprimanded governments. The plaintiffs would be represented by just six lawyers.

If Portugal’s plaintiffs are right, the ECtHR could call on the governments of EU member states and co-defendant states Norway, Russia, Turkey, Switzerland and Britain to adopt and adhere to stricter climate targets. A verdict is not expected until next year.

Originally 33 countries were sued and the ECHR continues to mention that number, but the young people decided to leave Ukraine out because of Russia’s war of aggression.