Quantcast

Kids Harmed by Portugal Fires Reach Key Crowdfunding Goal for Climate Lawsuit

Climate
Portuguese youth plaintiffs, from left to right: Simão and Leonor; Cláudia, Martim and Mariana; André and Sofia. Global Legal Action Network

As Portugal reels from its worst wildfires on record, seven Portuguese children have met an important crowdfunding goal for their major climate lawsuit against 47 European nations.

More than £20,000 ($26,400) was pledged by 589 people, allowing the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN)—the nonprofit coordinating the lawsuit—to identify and compile evidence to present to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France. GLAN now has a new stretch target of £100,000.


As Climate Home News reports, Mariana (5), Leonor (8), André (9), Simão (11), Sofia (12), Martim (14) and Cláudia (18) are suing the countries over their failure to tackle climate change.

"In June of this year these children watched their district burn as a result of the worst forest fires in their country's history. The fires, which have been linked to climate change, claimed the lives of over 60 people," the crowdfunding page states.

"Tragedies like this are becoming the new norm because governments in Europe and beyond are failing to make the necessary cuts to their greenhouse gas emissions."

The countries targeted, including the UK, Ireland, Germany and France, are responsible for about 15 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and hold a significant proportion of the world's known fossil fuel reserves.

"A victory in our case would therefore be nothing less than ground-breaking, particularly because the decision of the court would be binding across Europe," GLAN said.

The lawsuit is similar to a landmark lawsuit in the U.S. where 21 young plaintiffs are suing the government over global warming.

GLAN's funding goal was met on Wednesday. Around the same time, Portugal's interior minister Constança Urbano de Sousa announced her resignation following the deaths of another 41 people after forest fire broke out this month.

“What worries me the most about climate change is the rise in temperatures, which has contributed to the number of fires taking place in our country," Cláudia said in a statement to Climate Home News.

“Older generations should invest in controlling more effectively the amount of dangerous gases that are released into the atmosphere," she continued, while adding that she was “taking in this case for the children and for the future generations who are not responsible for the current state of the environment."

GLAN and its partners at London's Garden Court Chambers will be asking the Court to decide two things: "Firstly, that these countries must significantly strengthen their emissions cutting policies and, secondly, that they must commit to keeping most of their existing fossil fuel reserves where they belong—in the ground."

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Oil palm plantations in northeastern Borneo, state of Sabah, Malaysia. Recently planted oil palms can be seen in the bright green grassy areas and a tiny bit of natural rainforest still struggles for survival farther away. Vaara / E+ / Getty Images

Palm Oil importers in Europe will not be able to meet their self-imposed goal of only selling palm oil that is certified deforestation-free, according to a new analysis produced by the Palm Oil Transparency Coalition, as Bloomberg reported.

Read More Show Less
Scientists found the most melting near Mould Bay on Prince Patrick Island, NWT, Canada. University of Alaska Fairbanks Permafrost Laboratory

The Canadian Arctic is raising alarm bells for climate scientists. The permafrost there is thawing 70 years earlier than expected, a research team discovered, according to Reuters. It is the latest indication that the global climate crisis is ramping up faster than expected.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Pixabay

By Jillian Kubala, MS, RD

Cherries are one of the most beloved fruits, and for good reason.

Read More Show Less
A fuel truck carries fuel into a fracking site past the warning signs Jan. 27, 2016 near Stillwater, Oklahoma. J Pat Carter / Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

For more than three decades, the U.S. government has mismanaged toxic oil and gas waste containing carcinogens, heavy metals and radioactive materials, according to a new Earthworks report — and with the country on track to continue drilling and fracking for fossil fuels, the advocacy group warns of growing threats to the planet and public health.

Read More Show Less
European Union blue and gold flags flying at the European Commission building in Brussels, Belgium. 35007/ iStock / Getty Images Plus

Newly adopted guidelines set forth by the European Commission Tuesday aim to tackle climate change by way of the financial sector. The move comes to bolster the success of the Sustainable Action Plan published last year to reorient capital flows toward sustainable investment and manage financial risks from climate change, environmental degradation and social issues.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivering remarks to supporters at a Liberal Climate Action Rally in Toronto, Ontario on March 4. Arindam Shivaani / NurPhoto / Getty Images

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday that his government would once again approve the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, which would triple the amount of oil transported from Alberta's tar sands to the coast of British Columbia (BC).

Read More Show Less
An exhausted polar bear wanders the streets of Norilsk, a Siberian city hundreds of miles from its natural habitat. IRINA YARINSKAYA / AFP / Getty Images

An exhausted, starving polar bear has been spotted wandering around the Siberian city of Norilsk, Reuters reported Tuesday. It is the first time a polar bear has entered the city in more than 40 years.

Read More Show Less
Bumblebees flying and pollinating a creeping thyme flower. emeliemaria / iStock / Getty Images

It pays to pollinate in Minnesota.

Read More Show Less