Latest news: International court rules Switzerland violated human rights in landmark climate ruling


An international court in France ruled on Tuesday that Switzerland’s failure to adequately address the climate crisis was a violation of human rights, in a landmark climate ruling that experts say could have a ripple effect around the world.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg, France, issued rulings on three separate climate lawsuits, one of them brought by more than 2,000 older Swiss women against Switzerland, who argued that heat waves fueled by climate change undermined their Health and quality of life. and put them at risk of dying.

The court ruled that the Swiss government had violated some of women’s human rights by failing to meet earlier targets to reduce planet-warming pollution.

The other lawsuits were filed by a mayor against the French government and a third by six young people from Portugal against 32 European countries. These two claims were declared inadmissible.

All three argued that governments’ failure to adequately reduce planet-warming pollution caused them harm, including violating their rights to life, well-being and mental health.

These lawsuits mark the first time the court has ruled on climate litigation. There is no right of appeal and the rulings are legally binding.

While the ruling will only apply to Switzerland, experts say the case could bolster other human rights-based climate cases pending before international courts and could open the floodgates for numerous similar lawsuits to be brought in the future.

A ruling against either country effectively operates “like a binding treaty imposed by the court,” said Gerry Liston, a lawyer with the Global Legal Action Network, which supported Portugal’s case.

This is a developing story…

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