Swiss women win landmark climate victory in European human rights court

Swiss women win landmark climate victory in European human rights court
Swiss women win landmark climate victory in European human rights court

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Former French ecologist mayor of Grande-Synthe, Damien Careme (centre) and representatives and lawyers of three climate change cases involving France, Portugal and Switzerland attend a hearing of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to decide in three separate cases if states are doing enough in the face of global warming in rulings that could force them to do more, in Strasbourg, eastern France, on April 9, 2024. — AFP pic

STRASBOURG (France), April 9 — The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled on Tuesday in favour of a group of elderly Swiss women who had argued that their government’s inadequate efforts to combat climate change put them at risk of dying during heatwaves.

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The ECtHR ruled that Bern’s failure to meet past greenhouse gas reduction targets had violated some of their human rights.

The European court’s decision on the case, brought by more than 2,000 women, could have a ripple effect across Europe and beyond, setting a binding precedent for how some courts deal with the rising tide of climate litigation argued on the basis of human rights infringements.

However, the Strasbourg-based court threw out two other similar cases, the first brought by six Portuguese youth against 32 European governments and another by a former French mayor against the French government.

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The Swiss verdict, which cannot be appealed, could compel the government to take greater action on reducing emissions, including revising its 2030 emissions reductions targets to get in line with the Paris Agreement goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. — Reuters

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