The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) rejected a “coordinated effort” by the 33 countries persecuted by six young Portuguese for their ineffectiveness in fighting climate change to reverse their decision to prioritize the case. According to the not-for-profit Global Legal Action Network (GLAN) leading the trial, the defendants argued that “young people are not in any imminent danger,” so it made no sense to consider the case urgent. The court rejected this position, but extended the time limit for states to present their defense. Instead of February, you can do so now through March 27th.
The response of the 33 countries considered to be Europe’s main greenhouse gas (GHG) emitters came after they received the “notice” of the ECHR’s acceptance of the case in November last year. According to GLAN, the court also denied the defendants’ motion to postpone the “analysis of their climate policy”. “The governments had asked permission to argue that the case was inadmissible and that the challenge to their climate policy should therefore not be heard,” the association, which deals with human rights cases, wrote in a statement to which the PUBLIC had access.
As a result, the countries would now have to “defend the compatibility of their policies” with the central goal of the Paris Agreement of keeping the temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius, starting from pre-industrial values. “This is another big step towards a court ruling that obliges European governments to act with the urgency necessary to ensure the future of young petitioners and their generation. As global warming exceeds the 1.5 degrees Celsius foreseen in the Paris Agreement, there can be no delay in scrutinizing the policies of European countries, ”GLAN’s Gerry Liston quoted in the statement. The lawyers defending the Portuguese youth case at THDE are members of the Garden Court Chambers, a British association of lawyers focused on human rights-related action.
The action of six Portuguese youths, four from the Leiria region and two brothers from Almada between the ages of 8 and 21, was handed over to the ECHR in September. In addition to all countries of the European Union, the complaint is also directed against the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Norway, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine.
Use studies and projections that indicate a deterioration in climatic conditions in Portugal – with rising temperatures, prolonged heat waves, rising sea water levels or increased droughts, with the occurrence of intense rainfall that can lead to serious flooding – and remember some of these Changes In recent years, young people and their representatives have already been felt in the country. They assume that the European Convention on Human Rights obliges states to take concrete measures to reduce emissions by not doing everything in their power to achieve this, by calling into question these very rights. What the young people and their lawyers want is for the court to come to a decision that will force Portugal and the other prosecuted countries to take urgent action against the climate crisis.
The next step will be for the states to present their defense and for the young Portuguese lawyers to respond to each of the arguments put forward. Despite the support that has already been shown for the process by several international environmental organizations, a crowdfunding operation has been launched to cover the costs of the operation. The goal of reaching £ 65,000 by the end of this week was still a long way off this Thursday, valued at around £ 53,500.