Portuguese school children help take climate struggle to European Court of Human Rights

The bid – supported by Portuguese schoolchildren – to sue countries failing to protect the planet from climate change has finally been accepted by the European Court of Human Rights.

Launched just over two years ago, it was never ‘certain’ that the court would take this matter on.

The fact that it has, say organisers, is ‘historic’.

GLAN – the global legal action network – chose children from throughout Europe for this case (click here).

Four came from Portugal’s central region devastated by wildfires that killed over 120 people in 2017; six from Lisbon – where a heatwave in 2018 saw temperatures reach 44ºC.

The action, taken against 33 European countries, centres on young people essentially accusing governments of “driving the climate crisis” and as such failing to safeguard the future for citizens not yet old enough to vote.

Initially, GLAN’s initiative was directed at 47 countries. Numbers however have since whittled down to 33.

Countries in the frame are: Austria, Belgium. Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Croatia, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Holland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, Turkey and the Ukraine.