2021-10-11 17:59:10 UN can’t rule on climate case brought by Greta Thunberg | United Nations News
UN can’t rule on climate case brought by Greta Thunberg | United Nations News
Youth climate activists testified before the United Nations that inaction on climate change violates the rights of children.
A UN panel said it couldn’t rule on a complaint filed by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg and others that inaction on climate change violates children’s rights.
The committee, comprised of 18 independent human rights experts, announced on Monday that it had discovered a “sufficient causal link” between the alleged harm suffered by children and the omissions of five states.
It did, however, accept the countries’ argument that the children should have first taken their case to national courts.
“You were successful in some aspects but not in others,” the committee wrote in a letter to the youth activists, saluting their “courage and determination.”
“We hope that the positive aspects of this decision will empower you, and that you will continue to act in your own countries, regions, and internationally to fight for justice on climate change,” it said.
The complaint was filed with the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in 2019 by 15 activists from 12 countries, ranging in age from eight to seventeen at the time. It claimed that France, Turkey, Brazil, Germany, and Argentina had known about the dangers of climate change for decades but had done nothing to reduce their carbon emissions.
Since then, the panel has been holding hearings and deliberating.
Ramin Pejan, a senior lawyer with Earthjustice, which assisted in bringing the case, said the committee’s decision on admissibility left him “disappointed.”
However, Margaretha Wewerinke, an international environmental lawyer, stated that the case “broke new ground in climate litigation and will no doubt inform future efforts to protect rights against climate change.”
Cases involving climate change and human rights are on the rise. Just weeks before the COP26 summit in Glasgow on October 31, the UN Human Rights Council jumped into the climate crisis last week, recognizing the right to a clean environment and establishing a special rapporteur on protecting rights threatened by climate change.
The rapporteur will be tasked with determining how the negative effects of climate change have impacted the full enjoyment of human rights and making recommendations on how to avoid those effects.
Environmentalists are concerned that the policies drafted at the 26th annual UN summit will not go far enough to significantly reduce carbon emissions and slow global warming.
Thousands of protesters marched in Brussels on Sunday, demanding that member states implement bold and far-reaching policies.
The summit is viewed as one of the last chances to slow climate change and avert environmental disaster.