Climate Victory in European Court

Legal action

Swiss women have scored a landmark climate victory in European Court as data showed that last month was the warmest month on record. Coinciding with temperature records have been broken ten months in a row, a group of Swiss women have won the first ever climate case victory in the European Court of Human Rights.

The women known as Klima Seniorinnen or Senior Women for Climate Protection, argued that they cannot leave their Swiss homes for fear of suffering health attacks during heatwaves. They said that their age and gender made them particularly vulnerable to the effects of heatwaves linked to climate change.

In its ruling the Strasbourg Court said the Swiss state’s efforts to meet its emission reduction targets had been woefully inadequate. It is the first time the court has ruled on global warming; its judgement is binding and could shape the law in 46 countries in Europe including the UK:

European’s highest human rights court found that Switzerland has been too slow to reduce its emissions, finding that there were “critical gaps” in its policies. The judgments also set a legal precedent against which future lawsuits would be judged in the Council of Europe’s 46 member states.

However, the court dismissed two other cases brought by six Portuguese young people and a former French mayor. Both argued that European governments had failed to tackle climate change quickly enough, violating their rights.

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