The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
16 Youth Activists File Suit Claiming Climate Crisis Violates Children’s Rights
The young people are suing Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany and Turkey for violating the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child by failing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The 1989 convention is the most-signed human rights treaty in the world and protects children's rights to life, health and peace.
"I'm doing this because world leaders are failing to protect the rights of the child by continuing to ignore the climate and ecological crisis," Thunberg said as she announced the suit, ABC News reported.
The five countries named in the suit were chosen because they are the top five emitters that have signed the convention, Thunberg explained on Twitter.
The suit comes three days after four million took to the streets in the largest youth-led climate protest in history. But, for the movement's young organizers, their protests have so far not led to the changes needed to meaningfully limit climate change.
"I decided to be part of this case because after students have been striking we still haven't gotten the sufficient action we need," Alexandria Villaseñor, one of the plaintiffs and a leader of the U.S. climate strike movement, told Earther. "So we are going to the next step."
Villaseñor was motivated to strike when a cloud of smoke from 2018's Camp Fire forced her to end a family visit to Davis, California early.
The other plaintiffs have also been directly impacted by the climate crisis.
Seventeen-year-old Carl Smith, a member of the indigenous Yupiaq tribe in Alaska, has witnessed the dramatic alteration of his home.
"It got so hot this summer that fish started floating in the river, dead," Smith told ABC News. "It is hard to see because it's the way I live, it's my culture and I don't want to see it die in my lifetime."
Four of the plaintiffs come from low-lying islands threatened by sea level rise.
"Sometimes in my mind I just see Ebeye sinking and a lot of people drowning," Ranton Anjain, one of three plaintiffs from the Marshall Islands, said in a statement reported by Earther.
Ebeye is only 80 acres, and much of its population of 15,000 is under the age of 18.
Another island plaintiff is 17-year-old Carlos Manual of Palau.
"Our homes are being swallowed by the ocean, the places where memories are made," Manual said at a press conference. "I am standing in front of you because I care about my generation."
The other plaintiffs are:
- Litokne Kabua, Marshall Islands
- David Ackley III, Marshall Islands
- Ridhima Pandey, India
- Ayakha Melithafa, South Africa
- Deborah Adegbile, Nigeria
- Raslene Joubali, Tunisia
- Raina Ivanova, Germany
- Iris Duquesne, France
- Ellen-Anne, Sweden
- Catarina Lorenzo, Brazil
- Chiara Sacchi, Argentina
The five countries named in the suit are among 44 who have agreed to have complaints brought against them under the convention, CNN explained. Instead of financial compensation, the young plaintiffs want the countries to increase their climate commitments and work with other countries to address the crisis.
The suit will be heard by a committee of 18 children's rights experts. If it is successful, the five countries will either have to take greater measures to fight climate change or withdraw from the treaty, Earther explained.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
For one year Rob Greenfield grew and foraged all of his own food. No grocery stores, no restaurants, no going to a bar for a drink, not even medicines from the pharmacy.
Apple has removed all 181 vaping-related apps from its App Store, the company announced on Friday. The removal of the apps comes after thousands of people across the country have developed lung illnesses from vaping and 42 people have died.
By Bailey Hopp
If you had to choose a diamond for your engagement ring from below or above the ground, which would you pick … and why would you pick it? This is the main question consumers are facing when picking out their diamond engagement ring today. With a dramatic increase in demand for conflict-free lab-grown diamonds, the diamond industry is shifting right before our eyes.
A spill at the Keystone Pipeline that began last month has affected nearly 10 times the amount of land than previously thought, state officials said Monday.
By Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner
A major but largely glossed over report by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), an environmental and public health nonprofit based in Washington, DC, shows that thousands of untested chemicals (an estimated 2,000, to be exact) are found in conventional packaged foods purchasable in U.S. supermarkets. And yes, all of them are legal.