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Can 6 young Portuguese activists win the largest climate legal action against 32 Governments?


Can 6 young Portuguese activists win the largest climate legal action against 32 Governments? portugal news
Can 6 young Portuguese activists win the largest climate legal action against 32 Governments? - Portugal Business News





Portugal climate change news - 6 young Portuguese activists are suing 32 Governments in the largest climate change legal action case in a public hearing held at the European Court of Human Rights on September 27th, 2023.



What is the case brought by 6 young Portuguese climate activists against 32 Governments?


The case brought by 6 young Portuguese climate activists, that was filed against 32 Governments in September 2020, is the largest climate change case heard by the European Court of Human Rights. The plaintiffs, who are between 11 and 24 years old, show as evidence that Portugal is deeply affected by climate change as it is regularly causing devastating wildfires, such as the 2017 wildfires that caused the deaths of at least 60 people.


The 6 young Portuguese activists, namely André Oliveira, Catarina Mota, Cláudia Agostinho, Mariana Agostinho, Martim Agostinho and Sofia Oliveira, are suing 32 countries, including the 27 EU member states, as well as the UK, Norway, Switzerland, Russia and Turkey to hold them accountable.



Can 6 young Portuguese activists win the largest climate legal action against 32 Governments?


The largest climate change legal action is being heard at the European Court of Human Rights where 6 young Portuguese activists are suing 32 countries including the 27 EU member states in a landmark case that could hold the EU accountable for insufficient climate action.


17 judges will debate in a public hearing to decide if the 6 young Portuguese activists are victims of human rights violations for failure to take sufficient action under the following provisions of the European Convention of Human Rights: including their right to life (Article 2), to privacy and family life (Article 8) and to be free from discrimination (Article 14).


On one hand, the European Commission is pointing out that the EU defendant states have stepped up their emission reduction target for 2030 in a responsible manner by adopting the goal of reducing their net GHG emissions by 55% and aiming to become climate neutral by 2050.


However, the plaintiffs, who are 6 young Portuguese climate activists, argue the case by stating that they only rely on scientific evidence that shows that, should every country in the world reduce its emissions with the same level of ambition as the accused 32 countries, global warming would still reach an unacceptable 3°C or even worse within their lifetime.


The landmark climate action case brought by 6 young Portuguese climate activists against 32 Governments argues that the defendant states have not set adequate goals to combat climate change and that they are to be held accountable for the disastrous consequences.


The case that is being heard before the European Court of Human Rights will debate whether the climate action goals set by the EU are insufficient and whether a 3°C global warming is an adequate response to climate change.


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has explained that scientific evidence shows that anything higher than a 1.5°C temperature increase would already be catastrophic. The IPCC has stated that “every increment of global warming will intensify multiple and concurrent hazards” that could create a tipping point.


“We’ve put forward evidence to show that it’s within the power of states to do vastly more to adjust their emissions, and they are choosing not do it,” states lawyer Gerry Liston.


A decision in the case of the 6 young Portuguese activists against 32 Governments is not expected before 2024. The court’s rulings are legally binding on member countries, and failure to comply makes authorities liable for large fines decided by the court.


Whether the 6 young Portuguese activists will win the largest climate legal action against 32 Governments is yet to be debated, however the scientific evidence is on the activists' side.




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