Human rights violated by Switzerland inaction on climate, ECHR rules in landmark case

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in France delivered a landmark ruling and found Switzerland’s failure to adequately tackle the climate crisis is a violation of human rights.

The court ruled in favour of a group of elderly women from Switzerland, who argued that the Swiss government’s inadequate efforts to combat climate change put them at risk of dying during heatwaves.

The case was brought by more than 2,000 Swiss women the majority of whom are in their 70s, against Switzerland’s government. They argued that climate change-fueled heat waves undermined their health and quality of life, and put them at risk of dying.

It marks the first time the court has ruled on climate litigation. There is no right of appeal and the judgment is legally binding.

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