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Millennials are Taking Governments to Court over Climate Change. And They're Starting to Win

Sunday May 9, 2021. 07:34 PM , from Slashdot
CNN tells the story of Luisa Neubauer, a 25-year-old woman who took the German government to court last year — and won:

On April 29, the country's Supreme Court announced that some provisions of the 2019 climate change act were unconstitutional and 'incompatible with fundamental rights,' because they lacked a detailed plan for reducing emissions and placed the burden for future climate action on young people. The court ordered the government to come up with new provisions that 'specify in greater detail how the reduction targets for greenhouse gas emissions' by the end of next year. The decision made headlines across the world...
'This case changes everything,' she said. 'It's not nice to have climate action, it's our fundamental right that the government protects us from the climate crisis....'

Climate lawsuits are becoming an increasingly popular and powerful tool for climate change activists. A January report released by the United Nations Environment Programme found that the number of climate litigation cases filed around the world nearly doubled between 2017 and 2020. Crucially, the governments are starting to lose. Neubauer's victory came just months after a court in Paris ruled that France was legally responsible for its failure to meet emission cutting targets. Another similar case involving six young people from Portugal was fast-tracked at the European Court of Human Rights last October...

The cases are most often centered around the idea that future generations have a right to live in a world that is not completely decimated by the climate crisis.
Long-time Slashdot reader AmiMoJo shares an Ars Technica story noting that in addition to the German suit, 'A similar lawsuit in the U.S. has been winding its way through the courts.'

First filed in 2015 on behalf of a group of children and teenagers, the suit accused the U.S. government of violating the plaintiffs' constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property by not taking stronger action on climate change.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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