A number of academics from the University of Antwerp (UA) joined the climate lawsuit filed by six young Portuguese before the European Court of Human Rights. According to Young People, their human rights are being violated by 33 European countries because they take very little action to tackle the greenhouse gas problem.
In November, on the initiative of 21-year-old Claudia Duarte Agostino, some young Portuguese filed a lawsuit against 33 European countries for violating human rights. All European Union countries plus Norway, Russia, Turkey and the United Kingdom were summoned by the youth. Countries will not take enough action to tackle global warming, which is the root cause of global warming. Young people see this as threatening their right to life.
Several European human rights organizations, such as Amnesty International, and individual academics support the cause, including academics from the University of Antwerp. For example, the Law and Development Research Group of the American Union College of Law has presented itself as an interested party.
The importance of this issue cannot be underestimated. Through our work, we want to convince the court that justice does not stop at national borders and to emphasize that children in particular deserve better protection, for the sake of the future. “European countries should set ambitious goals for themselves to reduce the negative consequences of climate change for future generations,” said Dr. Jamzi Erdem Turkeli (UA).
Human rights organizations and academics also argue that states should not harm the rights of non-residents. “People who are victims of climate change should be able to hold governments to account, other than their own,” says Professor Wouter Vandenhall (UA).
Climate problems due to failed policy
The group believes that the European Court could rule on failed national governments’ policies if they caused climate problems such as droughts, heat waves and wildfires. “If it turns out that this is not possible, it is inconsistent with the European Convention on Human Rights. It would be a good idea for the court to look at the countries’ climate-related obligations together, rather than looking at each country separately.
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