UN Committee Cannot Rule on Thunberg Climate Case

The UN Committee on the Child’s Rights cannot rule on charges brought by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg and youths from 11 other countries against France, Brazil, Germany, Turkey and Argentina.


The cases should have been referred to national courts; first, the committee said.
The young people filed the complaint in 2019, alleging that the five countries have known about the effects of climate change for decades but have done nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The fifteen young people believe that children’s rights have been violated as a result.

The United Nations committee recognizes that there is a link between the damage suffered by children and failure to reduce emissions. The committee has also determined that countries can be held responsible for damage caused by emissions, even if this has happened outside their national borders. “The collective nature of the causes of climate change does not exempt any state from its individual responsibility,” said committee member Ann Skelton.

The five countries had suggested that these matters should first be dealt with nationally, so the committee agreed. “You were successful in some areas, but not in others. Nevertheless, we do hope that the positive aspects of this ruling support you and that you continue the fight for justice and against climate change,” the committee wrote in a letter to the young people…

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