Switzerland "Violated Human Rights" By Not Tackling Climate-Change Quickly Enough, ECHR Rules In Landmark Case

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Apr 10, 2024 - 09:00 AM

Authored by Thomas Brooke via ReMix News,

National governments are infringing on citizens’ human rights by not doing enough to tackle climate change, the European Court of Human Rights has held in a landmark ruling that could have far-reaching consequences and influence climate policy across the continent.

In a highly-anticipated judgment, the Strasbourg court on Tuesday sided with a group of Swiss pensioners who brought a claim against their national government for its perceived failure to act sufficiently in reducing carbon emissions, claiming that existing climate policy was violating their human rights.

The members of the KlimaSeniorinnen group, supported by environmental campaign groups such as Greenpeace, argued that elderly citizens are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, citing the fact that excess deaths occur more regularly among the elderly during periods of extreme heat because they are less able to regulate their body temperature.

The group also claimed that heat waves impact the mental well-being of elderly citizens more because they are less able to go outside and withstand the heat, which they argue affects their quality of life.

The association relied on Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects the general right to life, and Article 8, which guarantees the right to private and family life.

Domestic governments are obliged to take “reasonable and appropriate measures” to secure these rights, steps members of the KlimaSeniorinnen group claimed the Swiss government had not taken.

The litigation had been appealed by the group up to the top human rights court in Europe after its claim was rejected first by the Federal Administrative Court in Switzerland and then by the Federal Supreme Court, the country’s highest ruling body.

The judgment is the third of three similar cases the court was asked to consider in respect to the correlation between climate change and human rights and sets a precedent that all national courts in Council of Europe member states will be required to adhere to.

It had recently dismissed the other two cases, brought by Portuguese youths and a former French mayor who had claimed their respective national governments had infringed on their human rights by not being ambitious enough with their climate targets.

The move could see governments across Europe required to take even greater measures to press on with reducing carbon emissions and pursuing a green agenda that many citizens believe is being wrongly prioritized and expedited to their own detriment.

Climate activists celebrated the ruling outside the Strasbourg court on Tuesday, accompanied by Swedish climate zealot Greta Thunberg.

“The ECHR verdict will send an important signal worldwide,” said Raphaël Mahaim, a lawyer involved in the case and a Green Party lawmaker in the Swiss parliament.

Read more here...