The young climate activists, aged from eight to 21 years old, appear to have judges from the European Court of Human Rights on their side. These six young adults and children are suing the governments of 33 countries in the European Court of Human Rights. Their case is based on the assertion that, by failing to act on climate change, these governments are violating their fundamental right to life. So far, the judges have been incredibly receptive to their arguments. In October, barely a month after their case was filed, the Court announced they were granting it priority due to the “importance and urgency of the issues raised”. In early December, when the case was officially communicated to the defendant countries, the Strasbourg-based body took the even more unusual step of adding an extra element to the rap sheet. The Court’s communication included questions about whether, in failing to make meaningful cuts to emissions, these governments were violating not just Articles Two and Eight of the European Convention on Human Rights (the right to life, and the right to family life), but also Article Three, which deals with torture and the prohibition of inhuman treatment.
By Tristan Kennedy. Vice. December 14, 2020.