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European Court of Human Rights condemns Switzerland for failing to protect climate


In a ruling with possible effects throughout the continent, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg on Tuesday condemned Switzerland for failing to protect the climate, local media reported.

The court ruling in Strasbourg upheld the complaint against the Swiss Confederation of a group called the Climate Seniors, a Swiss NGO.

According to Swiss public broadcaster SRF, the court found a violation of the Convention on Human Rights. The courts also found a violation of the right to private and family life, among other things.

As reported by SRF, the court argued that states have an obligation to implement measures to combat global warming but that Switzerland has failed to do so.

This is the first time that Strasbourg has dealt with the question of whether a state’s climate policy violates human rights. The ruling could have far-reaching consequences for Europe.

The ruling could open up a legal avenue for individuals to take legal action against the climate policies of the 46 members of the Council of Europe, which the court operates as part of. Its members include such states as Germany, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Türkiye.

The NGO Climate Seniors consists of over 2,000 Swiss pensioners.

The initiative for the lawsuit originally came from the Swiss branch of environmental group Greenpeace.

The new tactic of challenging states legally to do more to protect the planet reflects the gravity of the emergency in the face of an ongoing climate crisis, say environmental activists.

Source: AA