Lawsuit in EU court by young Portuguese, largest climate case ever
(EurActiv, 27 Sep 2023) The lawsuit by young Portuguese people against 32 states, which was filed at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), could force Europe to act urgently against the climate crisis, according to Zero, an environmental association.
The case – which will be analysed on Wednesday – is an opportunity for European governments to step up the fight against the climate crisis because countries “have not gone far enough in their climate actions,” according to Zero.
With regard to the ECHR’s judgement on Wednesday, the association recalls in its statement that the six young people took action in September 2020, launching a lawsuit against more than 30 European countries after witnessing devastating forest fires and increasingly intense heatwaves.
The six young people argued that the climate ambition of the accused countries, including Portugal, is insufficient to protect their fundamental rights, including their right to life and their right to their physical and mental well-being.
In a statement, the association says that European governments have a legal duty to act urgently to prevent climate catastrophe and emphasises that the young people’s initiative constitutes “the largest climate lawsuit ever launched.”
In the document, the organisation warns that time is running out for young people to safeguard their future and that governments have a legal duty to take much more radical and urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.