Open Translation

STRASBOURG: The European Court of Human Rights has, for the first time in law, acknowledged government failure to implement sufficient measures to combat climate change.

A case brought by the Swiss Climate Seniors Association (SCSA) claimed Swiss authorities were not taking seriously the impact of global warming on their living conditions and health.

In a vote 16:1, the Court concluded Switzerland’s Confederation had indeed violated Article 8 of the Convention that provides the right to respect for private and family life. The dissenting opinion by British judge Tim Eicke suggested it was beyond the Court’s remit to reach such a conclusion.

The ruling, from the Court’s Grand Chamber and therefore final was by 17 judges: Síofra O’Leary (Ireland) President, Georges Ravarani (Luxembourg), Marko Bošnjak (Slovenia), Gabriele Kucsko-Stadlmayer (Austria), Pere Pastor Vilanova (Andorra), Arnfinn Bårdsen (Norway), Pauliine Koskelo (Finland), Tim Eicke (the United Kingdom), Jovan Ilievski (North Macedonia), Darian Pavli (Albania), Raffaele Sabato (Italy), Lorraine Schembri Orland (Malta), Anja Seibert-Fohr (Germany), Peeter Roosma (Estonia), Ana Maria Guerra Martins (Portugal), Mattias Guyomar (France), Andreas Zünd (Switzerland), plus Søren Prebensen, Deputy Grand Chamber Registrar.

In a subsequent unanimous vote, the Court also determined the SCSA’s right of access under Article 6 had been violated, noting Swiss courts had not provided convincing reasons as to why they “failed to take into consideration the compelling scientific evidence concerning climate change and had not taken the [Association’s] complaints seriously”.

"With its latest ruling, the European Court of Human Rights has expressed its opinion on the core issue of international climate policy - the question of responsibility,” noted Ottmar Edenhofer, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. “The fact that the court ruled in favour of the Swiss Climate Seniors Association and recognized inadequate climate policy as a violation of human rights is groundbreaking. This ruling should also remind other states of their international obligations: those who set climate targets are responsible for meeting them.”

Published on the same day as the Court ruling, a report by Oil Change International and Friends of the Earth United States, claims between 2020 and 2022 G20 governments and multilateral development banks (MDBs) provided US$142 billion in international public finance for fossil fuels, compared to US$104 billion for clean energy in the same period.

The top three government fossil fuel financiers per annum were Canada (US$10.9 billion), Korea (US$10 billion) and Japan (US$6.9 billion) followed by China, Italy, U.S., Germany, Russia, Argentina and Saudi Arabia.

By contrast the top annual providers of clean energy finance between 2020 and 2022 were France (US$2.7 billion), Japan (US$2.3 billion) and Germany (US$2.3 billion).

“While rich countries continue to drag their feet and claim they can’t afford to fund a globally just energy transition, countries like Canada, Korea, Japan, and the U.S. appear to have no shortage of public funds for climate-wrecking fossil fuels,” commented Claire O’Manique, Public Finance analyst at Oil Change International.
Story Type: News

Vote for my Story

Our Rating: 9% - 1 votes

1000 Characters left

June 07, 2024
People Editor

Fossil fuel investors gain US$114 billion from secret courts

LONDON, UK: According to new data, a secretive arbitration court set up after the collapse of the Soviet Union is now being used by corporations to award themselves billions in taxpayer funds. The Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) is a mechanism…
February 28, 2024
People Editor

83 million Americans breathe unhealthy air

BROOKLYN, NY/SAN DIEGO, CA: A report from research and technology company First Street finds 83 million Americans are exposed annually to air quality thresholds categorized as “unhealthy” by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Air Quality Index.…
February 22, 2024
People Editor

Nearly 50 million Americans deny climate change

ANN ARBOR, MI/CHICAGO, IL: A study by the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) has concluded 12-26 percent of Americans, depending on location, deny the reality of climate change. The researchers used Twitter (now X) data…
February 19, 2024
People Editor

US$281 billion war profit in two years

LONDON: Five fossil fuel majors have made over US$281 billion net profit since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine two years ago. According to a new analysis by Global Witness, Shell, BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil and TotalEnergies paid US$200 billion to shareholders in…
February 04, 2024
People Editor

COP29 host Azerbaijan has “severe corruption issues”

BERLIN: Watchdog Transparency International (TI) has published its 2023 Corruption Perception Index (CPI). The Index ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public-sector corruption using a scale of zero to 100, where zero is highly…
December 31, 2023
People Editor

No room for greenwashing

BILBAO: Spanish energy company Iberdrola has signed a partnership that “could reach US$15 billion” with Masdar, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) renewables energy subsidiary headed by COP28 president and ADNOC CEO Sultan Al-Jaber. The two…
December 29, 2023
People Editor

Tax evasion doesn’t help climate mitigation

LONDON: Countries worldwide suffer an annual tax loss of US$480 billion according to a latest report from the Tax Justice Network (TJN). Some US$311 billion is lost by corporate tax abuse and a further US$169 billion vanishes via offshore tax evasion.…
December 06, 2023
People Editor

Disastrous and irreversible change to Earth forecast

EXETER, UK: A new report warns the environmental stress of a warming planet could become so severe that large parts of the natural world will result in abrupt and irreversible change. These moments are called Earth system ‘tipping points’. In a 500-page…
December 05, 2023
People Editor

Business group wants fossil fuel phase-out

DUBAI: The Mean Business Coalition, a business-centric non-profit working to accelerate climate action globally, is demanding immediate action from governments to phase out fossil fuels. In a letter to COP28 president and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company CEO…
December 01, 2023
People Editor

Fossil fuel subsidies in 82 countries rose to US$1.5 trillion in 2022.

DUBAI: Governments in 82 economies subsidised fossil fuels at a cost of US1.5 trillion in 2022 – up from US$769.5 billion the previous year. Data from the OECD and IEA indicate the offset was due to exceptionally high energy prices prompted “in part” by…
November 29, 2023
People Editor

COP 28 sponsors ranked for ethics

DUBAI, UAE: Spendwell, an independent information company enabling individuals to make ethical choices when buying goods or services from corporations, has ranked the 24 official sponsors of COP 28 in Dubai, UAE: The report, based on independently verifiable…
October 31, 2023
People Editor

Avoid greenwashing: is it true, is it necessary, is it kind?

CONCORD, NH: A project by PR and advertising professionals to highlight agencies greenwashing the climate crisis has published an ‘F-List’ of 500 fossil fuel contracts from 294 different PR and advertising agencies worldwide, including 103 in Asia. Created to…

We are using cookies

By continuing you are agreeing to our use of cookies

I understand