The right to be safe from Climate change has been upheld by an international court

The European Court of Human Rights: A first court ruling that Portugal does not protect itself from the effects of climate change – a landmark case

An international court has, for the first time, ruled that a country violated human rights by not protecting people from the effects of climate change. The European Court of Human Rights was petitioned by an association representing more than 2,000 older women who wanted to complain that their government put them at risk during heatwaves.

STRASBOURG, France — Europe’s highest human rights court began its session Tuesday on a group of landmark climate change cases aimed at forcing countries to meet international obligations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Net emissions could be reduced to zero by the year 2030. The EU, which doesn’t include Switzerland, currently has a target to be climate-neutral by 2050. Many governments have said that meeting a 2030 goal would be economically unattainable.

Ahead of the ruling, a large crowd gathered in front of the court building to cheer and wave flags, including climate activist Greta Thunberg, who was coming off of multiple arrests during a demonstration in The Hague over the weekend.

We’re nervous. Nervous and excited,” said Cláudia Agostinho, a 24-year-old who is one of the six Portuguese who brought the case to the Strasbourg court.

Global warming has made it harder to wipe out the dust in Europe and the rest of the world: Senior Women for Climate Protection (SwIP) says the case against the Dutch Supreme Court

The groups are confident that the 17 judges will rule in their favor, but a decision in the other direction could undermine a previous ruling in the Netherlands. In 2019, the Dutch Supreme Court ordered the government to cut emissions by at least 25% by the end of 2020 from benchmark 1990 levels.

The greenhouse effects are caused by the excessive heat waves, the rains and the heat waves. And what worries me is the frequency in which they started happening more and more. That’s what really scared me. And, I thought to myself, well, what can I do?” She said so.

The failure to stop emissions violated the fundamental rights of five young people, who joined forces with the rest of the world.

At the other end of the age spectrum, a group of Swiss retirees are also demanding their government do more. Senior Women for Climate Protection, whose average age is 74, say older women’s rights are especially infringed on because they are most affected by the extreme heat that will become more frequent due to global warming.

The world’s temperature is already over 1.5 degrees of warming. 2023 was officially the hottest year on record. Deadly heatwaves that spread across Europe, North America, and China last year would have been “extremely rare or even impossible without human-caused warming,” an international collaboration of researchers called World Weather Attribution found.

The European Court of Human Rights (CECR) is not an island nation or does climate change affect human rights? Seniors, doctors and healthcare workers in Switzerland

In all three cases, lawyers argued that the political and civil protections guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights are meaningless if the planet is uninhabitable.

Switzerland is not alone in being affected by global warming, said Alain Chablais, representative of the country at last year’s hearings. The problem can’t be solved by Switzerland alone.

The court fast-tracked the cases because of the importance of the climate crisis.

Judgements of the European Court of Human Rights aren’t binding on all member states, but they set a precedent against which future lawsuits would be judged.

The suit was filed by a group of elderly people who said they were at higher risk because of climate change and heatwaves. Older adults are more likely to have a chronic medical condition or take prescription medicines that affect the body’s ability to regulate temperature. Climate disasters have been found to intensify gender-based violence, and women have been found to have a harder time accessing resources.

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