"Children Have a Right to Sue Nations Over Climate, U.N. Panel Says"

"The finding doesn’t have the force of law, but is notable because it is based on one of the most widely accepted international treaties."

"Young people around the world are increasingly taking their governments to court for failing to reduce climate pollution, and on rare occasions, they are winning.

This week, their efforts received an endorsement from an independent panel of experts that interprets United Nations human rights law, the Committee on the Rights of the Child. In an expansive 20-page document released Monday, the committee said all countries have a legal obligation to protect children from environmental degradation — including by “regulating business enterprises” — and to allow their underage citizens to seek legal recourse.

The committee’s opinion is not legally binding and is therefore impossible to enforce. But it is significant because it is based on a widely recognized international treaty and explicitly recognizes children’s right to go to court to force their government to slow down the climate crisis.

That treaty is the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which is considered the most widely ratified treaty in history because every country in the world except the United States has signed on to it."

Somini Sengupta reports for the New York Times August 28, 2023.


"UN Seeks To Help Children Battling Climate Change In Court" (Reuters)

Source: NYTimes, 08/29/2023