Climate verdict for Swiss women a warning for European states, oil industry

(Reuters, 12 Apr 2024) Governments and companies that are lax on climate action should be worried since this week's European human rights court ruling against the Swiss government improves the odds that other such cases could win at the top court, legal experts said.

The climate case – one of three decided on Tuesday – was the first to be tested at Europe's regional human rights court. Earlier lawsuits filed over the last decade in courts around the world have mostly succeeded or failed at or below the national level.

A win at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) sets a precedent for courts across the region. Given similarities to arguments made by the Swiss women who won, it also has direct implications for seven other climate cases that the ECtHR had put on hold pending Tuesday's rulings, legal experts said. The two other cases decided on Tuesday were deemed inadmissible, and these failures may also impact pending cases. The Swiss case ruling on Tuesday - where the court ruled that the Swiss government had violated the human rights of more than 2,000 elderly women by failing to do enough to combat climate change - served as a reminder that even human rights courts are open to arguments that challenge commitments to tackling climate change, lawyers said

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Reuters, 12 Apr 2024: Climate verdict for Swiss women a warning for European states, oil industry