|6 παιδιά μηνύουν 33 κυβερνήσεις – και την Ελληνική – για το κλιματικό χάος|
Έξι παιδιά, η Κλαούντια, η Καταρίνα, ο Μαρτίμ, η Σοφία, ο Αντρέ κι η Μαριάνα – 8-21 χρόνων από την Πορτογαλία – είδαν με τα ίδια τους τα μάτια τι σημαίνει κλιματική κατάρρευση και κλιματικό χάος: 120 άτομα βρήκαν το θάνατο, το 2017 και μεγάλες εκτάσεις με δάση κάηκαν, ενώ κύματα καύσωνα σάρωσαν τη χώρα τον Ιούλιο 2020, που ήταν ο πιο ζεστός των τελευταίων 90 χρόνων και η καταστροφή ήταν τεράστια. Έτσι πήραν την απόφαση να κινηθούν δικαστικά εναντίον των κυβερνήσεων 33 χωρών, μεταξύ των οποίων περιλαμβάνεται και η Ελληνική. Ανέλαβαν δράση και δεν θα επιτρέψουν στους μεγάλους να καταστρέψουν για πάντα το μέλλον τους. Η αδράνεια των κυβερνήσεων για την κλιματική αλλαγή θέτει σε κίνδυνο το μέλλον τους.
Με προσφυγή τους στο Ευρωπαϊκό Δικαστήριο Ανθρωπίνων Δικαιωμάτων, στο Στρασβούργο, ζητάνε να είναι δεσμευτική νομικά η υποχρέωση των κυβερνήσεων να μειώσουν τις εκπομπές αερίων που αλλάζουν το κλίμα σε επίπεδα που θα συγκρατήσουν την άνοδο της μέσης θερμοκρασίας κάτω από 1,5 βαθμό Κελσίου. 5 Ιουλίου θα δημοσιοποιηθούν οι απαντήσεις των 33 κυβερνήσεων.
Πρόσφατη είναι η απόφαση του Συνταγματικού Δικαστηρίου της Γερμανίας που ανάγκασε τη Γερμανική κυβέρνηση να δεσμευτεί σε πιο φιλόδοξους στόχους (μείωση κατά 65% των αερίων θερμοκηπίου μέχρι το 2040, καθαρή κλιματική ουδετερότητα μέχρι το 2045)
Η δίκη αυτή αφορά όχι μόνο το κλίμα αλλά τον κόσμο που θα παραλάβουν τα παιδιά και τα εγγόνια μας από τις σημερινές γενιές.
Το Ευρωπαϊκό Δικαστήριο Ανθρωπίνων Δικαιωμάτων επισπεύδει τις διαδικασίες μια και η υπόθεση είναι πολύ σοβαρή, η κατάρρευση του κλίματος αφορά την ίδια την επιβίωση, είναι μια τρομακτική απειλή για τα θεμελιώδη ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα, αφορά τα δικαιώματα των σημερινών και των επόμενων γενεών, την σωματική και ψυχική τους υγεία.
Χρειαζόμαστε φιλόδοξους κλιματικούς νόμους, που να επιτυγχάνουν αποτελέσματα, έξοδο από τα ορυκτά καύσιμα το αργότερο το 2040 και δραστική μείωση των αερίων που αλλάζουν το κλίμα κατά 70% μέχρι το 2030, αν θέλουμε να έχουμε κάποια ελπίδα να συγκρατήσουμε την άνοδο της μέσης θερμοκρασίας στους +1,5 βαθμό Κελσίου.
Η δίκη αυτή ίσως είναι και η κορυφαία για τη ζωή στον πλανήτη Γη και έρχεται μετά από άλλες δίκες σε εθνικό επίπεδο (στη Γερμανία, για τον κλιματικό νόμο, στη Γαλλία για το ανάλογο σχέδιο της κυβέρνησης, στην Ολλανδία εναντίον του πετρελαϊκού γίγαντα Shell).
Τα παιδιά που προσφεύγουν ζητάνε από το δικαστήριο να υποχρεώσει τις κυβερνήσεις να λάβουν φιλόδοξα μέτρα αλλά και να δεσμεύσουν και τις εταιρίες των χωρών τους που έχουν οικονομικές δραστηριότητες πέρα από τα σύνορα της χώρας τους. Δηλαδή αν το δικαστήριο υποχρεώσει την Ελληνική Κυβέρνηση να νομοθετήσει έναν πραγματικά φιλόδοξο νόμο, αυτός πρέπει να περιλαμβάνει και μέτρα για τις ελληνικές εταιρίες που δραστηριοποιούνται και εκτός χώρας.
Τα 4 παιδιά, η Cláudia Agostinho (21), Catarina Mota (20), Martim Agostinho (17) και Mariana Agostinho (8) ζουν στην περιοχή Leiria, που έπληξαν περισσότερο οι πυρκαγιές του 2017, με 120 θύματα. Δύο παιδιά, η Sofia Oliveira (15) και ο André Oliveira (12) ζουν στη Λισαβόνα, όπου ο καύσωνας του 2018, έφτασε στους 44 ⁰C. Για να μάθετε περισσότερα δείτε το βίντεο
Μπορείτε επίσης να βοηθήσετε να συγκεντρωθούν οικονομικοί πόροι https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/you…
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Κλιματική Αλλαγή: Αγωγή κατά 33 χωρών κατέθεσαν έξι παιδιά και νέοι από την Πορτογαλία (ΕΡΤ)
Κλίμα: Πορτογάλοι νέοι καταγγέλλουν την Ευρώπη (DW)
Κλιματική Αλλαγή και Ανθρώπινα Δικαιώματα (ΔΙΕΘΝΗΣ ΑΜΝΗΣΤΙΑ)
Επηρεάζει η κλιματική αλλαγή τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα των παιδιών; Σύντομα ένα Ευρωπαϊκό δικαστήριο θα αποφασίσει (TIME)
Παιδιά μηνύουν κυβερνήσεις για το κλίμα: Είναι παγκόσμια τάση (National Geographic)
Το Ευρωπαϊκό δικαστήριο δίνει εντολή στις χώρες να ανταποκριθούν στη μήνυση των νέων ακτιβιστών (DW)
Νέοι για την Κλιματική Αλλαγή
Six young people from Portugal are taking 33 countries to the European Court of Human Rights for failing to do their part to avert climate catastrophe
The goal of this case is to seek a legally binding decision from the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) requiring governments in Europe to take the urgent action needed to stop the climate crisis. The youth-applicants argue that European countries must not only adopt much deeper and immediate cuts to emissions released within their borders but also tackle their contributions to emissions released overseas, for example through their exports of fossil fuels.
In bringing this case, the six youth-applicants seek to add to the increasing pressure which ordinary people across Europe are putting on their governments to take this action now. They are going to the ECtHR because its decisions have the power to bring about significant changes in the policies of European governments.
Importantly, while the ECtHR can order States to pay compensation, the youth-applicants are not seeking any money. This case is solely about making European governments act to protect their futures.
How does climate change harm the youth-applicants and interfere with their human rights?
In their application, the youth-applicants contend that climate change interferes with their right to life, their right to respect for their private and family lives and their right not to be discriminated against.
Climate change affects their right to life simply because it creates a risk to their lives. The forest fires which killed over one hundred people in Portugal in 2017 and which were worsened by climate change demonstrate that they and others already face a risk to their lives. This is a risk which will increase significantly over the course of their lifetimes. For example, on the current path leading to about 3°C of warming by the end of the century, thirty times more people are expected to die in Western Europe from extreme heat in the final three decades of this century, than in the beginning of the century.
Climate change also affects the youth-applicants’ right to privacy, a right which covers their physical and mental wellbeing. In recent years Portugal has experienced more intense and prolonged heatwaves as a result of climate change. For example, during a heatwave in August 2018, Lisbon experienced a record high temperature of 44°C. These heatwaves have interfered with the youth- applicants’ ability to exercise, to spend time outdoors and to sleep properly. Again, these extreme events will only worsen dramatically over time if we remain on our current path. Towards the end of the youth-applicants’ lifetimes, Portugal could face heatwaves, with temperatures exceeding 40°C, which last for over a month. The effects of ever-worsening heat extremes on their health and wellbeing interfere with their right to privacy.
As an inevitable result of facing into such a future, climate change also takes a toll on the youth- applicants’ mental health. They worry about the world that they and the families which they hope to have in future will live in. The anxiety that climate change causes them is another example of how it interferes with their rights to respect for their private and family lives.
Climate change interferes with the youth-applicants’ right not to be discriminated against. As young people, they stand to experience the worst effects of climate change simply because they will live longer. Because there is no justification for forcing them and other young people to bear this burden, European governments are wrongly discriminating against the youth-applicants through their failures to properly and urgently fight climate change.
Finally, when the European Court of Human Rights “communicated” the case to the respondent governments (see the final FAQ), requiring them to respond to the application, it raised the question of its own accord whether the youth-applicants’ right not to be subjected to “inhuman or degrading treatment” has been breached. Never before has the Court found a violation of this right in a case concerning environmental harm. The fact that the court raised the question itself is an indication of how impacted the judges were by the evidence of what the youth-applicants stand to endure because of climate change over the course of their lifetimes unless the radical action needed is taken.
Which 33 countries are being sued and why these countries?
This case is brought against the Member States of the EU (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Croatia, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden) as well as Norway, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom. Taking the Member States of the EU as a bloc of countries, these countries are the major emitters within Europe.
How do they argue that European governments breach their obligations to fight climate change?
A key feature of this case is how it addresses the fact that States globally have not agreed between themselves what each State must do if the world is to meet the target of maintaining global warming at 1.5°C, as set out in the Paris Agreement. The absence of a globally agreed approach to burden- sharing creates uncertainty as to what amounts to any one State’s “fair share” of the global effort to fight climate change. So far, States have taken advantage of this uncertainty and chosen self-serving interpretations of their “fair share.” Of course, if every State does this, the collective outcome will be one which far exceeds the 1.5°C target. This, indeed, is the very reason we are careering towards an imminent climate catastrophe. We argue that the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) must resolve the uncertainty around the “fair share” question in favour of the youth-applicants and not States. In practice, this means that the adequacy States’ climate change policies must be measured against the relatively more demanding measures of their “fair share”.
This argument is designed to prevent States from escaping responsibility for the harm caused by climate change through emissions cuts which are collectively too weak to stop the climate crisis. In this way it is similar to the approach taken by the Climate Action Tracker (“CAT”) to rating the adequacy of States’ climate change policies. Under the CAT’s approach, it is only where States’ emissions reductions are in line with the more demanding measures of their “fair share” that they are given a “1.5°C Paris Agreement Compatible” rating. The CAT ratings for the countries being sued in this case are as follows: the EU as a whole, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom are each given an “insufficient” rating while Russia, Turkey and Ukraine are rated “critically insufficient.”
We argue that the ECtHR should adopt this approach to ensure that European governments are required to adopt emissions cuts which are collectively consistent with the 1.5°C target. In the EU context, this means that the EU, as a whole, must commit to reducing its emissions by at least 65% by 2030, as called for by numerous campaigning organisations.
How does this case relate to climate cases brought at the domestic level throughout Europe?
The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) was established on the understanding that States – including their domestic courts – are primarily responsible for securing people’s human rights. And in practice it is only domestic courts which have the tools to force governments to take the measures necessary to keep climate change to the 1.5°C target set by the Paris Agreement. At the same time, the ECtHR exists to address breaches of human rights when States fail to comply with their obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). In doing so, it clarifies what these obligations require States to do in specific situations; this then enables domestic courts to properly apply the Convention when they are called on to do so.
The normal rule is that before bringing a case to the ECtHR, an individual must seek to have their rights vindicated by a domestic court. There is an exception to this rule, however, which applies where there is no adequate remedy that is reasonably available to such an individual. This case, which is about the contribution by over thirty countries to the risk of harm from climate change, seeks to rely on this exception. It is important to understand clearly why it does. Firstly, there is an obvious argument: it would not be practically possible for a group of children and young adults to bring cases in thirty-three different countries and pursue them all the way to their highest courts.
The second argument is more nuanced: we argue that the remedies currently available at the domestic level in Europe are not adequate. Critically, this is not to say that there are no domestic remedies available in Europe. Nor is it to say that domestic courts are not the appropriate courts in which to challenge the adequacy of States’ climate change policies as incompatible with the ECHR – in fact, we say the opposite. Rather, we argue that from the domestic decisions handed down in Europe so far, it is clear that domestic courts can and must do more. This is made clear by cases such as those taken in the UK and Norway, where courts have refused to order their governments to do more.
It is even also true of the landmark decision in the case of Urgenda v The Netherlands. In that case, the Dutch Supreme Court held, just as we argue, that the ECHR requires States to “take measures to counter the genuine threat of dangerous climate change.” It therefore held that the Netherlands had to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by a specific amount i.e. 25% (relative to 1990 levels) by 2020. This decision is ground-breaking because it is the first in which a court made an order of this kind. It demonstrates that domestic courts can force governments to take stronger action on climate change. The climate emergency demands that courts go even further than the Dutch courts did in Urgenda. They arrived at this figure on the basis that developed countries had previously agreed to reduce their emissions by 25 – 40% (relative to 1990 levels) by 2020 in order to keep global warming to 2°C. Of course, if every developed country were to adopt the lowest end of this range, the collective outcome would be inadequate.
Our case seeks to build on the truly historic precedent set by the Urgenda decision. We seek a ruling from the ECtHR that States are required by the Convention to adopt emissions cuts that are collectively consistent with the 1.5°C target. A decision of this kind would then greatly enhance the prospect of domestic courts in Europe forcing their Governments to take such measures.
Click the below links to access the following documents:
Court application filed 3rd September 2020
Expert report on climate impacts in Europe
Academic Article on the case: Gerry Liston, “Enhancing the Efficacy of Climate Change Litigation: How to Resolve the ‘Fair Share Question’ in the Context of the International Human Rights Law” Cambridge International Law Journal (December 2020).
Court’s “statement of the case” (original in French and the translation in English).
Third party interventions.
Governments’ defences.Update: We have been informed by the ECtHR that it has received the defences of all 33 of the respondent states in this case. The Court has further advised that, because some governments need to translate their defences (or the reports etc. which they have annexed to them) into either of the official languages of the Court (English and French), it will be the 5th July at the earliest before they are shared with us. Once we have had a chance to initially review the governments’ defences, we will upload them to the folders accessible via the above link. It is important to note that these defences are public documents in accordance with Rule 33 of the Rules of the ECtHR. They can therefore be relied upon for advocacy and related purposes as with any other public government document.
Published by Global Legal Action Network