Story at a glance:

  • Greta Thunberg and 15 other youth activists had their case against five countries dismissed by the United Nations.
  • The teens were told to go to the national courts first.
  • The teens are accusing Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany and Turkey of violating their rights to life, health and culture by failing to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Greta Thunberg and 15 other youth activists had their case against five countries dismissed by the United Nations.

Accusing Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany and Turkey of violating their rights to life, health and culture by failing to cut greenhouse gas emissions, Thunberg and her company of friends wanted their case to be accepted by the U.N., The Guardian reported.


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The group is seeking accountability for these countries that failed to cut greenhouse gas emissions to levels that would restrict global warming to 1.5C, according to the Paris agreement.

As Changing America previously reported, there is one country complying with the Paris Accord, and it is the smallest country within mainland Africa.

Although the U.N. accepted some of their arguments, including how states are legally obligated to handle the impacts of emissions on children outside their borders, the U.N. ruled their case was inadmissible and insisted the group file in individual national courts.

The process, according to lawyers, could take years.

The decision to dismiss the teenagers’ case comes weeks before Cop26, or the United Nations’ Climate Change Conference of the Parties, in Glasgow, which starts on Oct. 31, and ends Nov. 12.

U.S. climate activist 16-year-old Alexandria Villaseñor, who started her activism at age 13, was upset by the verdict and encouraged more young activists to show up at Cop26.

“We are still going to be making our voices heard and if anything it’s made a lot of us even more upset and even more ready to make our voices heard,” she told The Guardian. “So we’re not going to stop, but it definitely was a landmark in showing how much we have to put pressure and how much we have to push.”

“And so that’s why at Cop there’s going to be so many children and these activists there who are going to be pushing our world leaders … because a lot of us are angry and we’re fed up with what has been happening.”

The lawyer representing the teens is Scott Gilmore, who specializes in human rights law at the law firm Hausfeld.

He believes progress was made, but ultimately, “a deeply disappointing dereliction of the committee’s duty,” The Guardian reported.

The teens are evaluating their legal options, but Gilmore expects they will next file to the national courts, which is about a five-year process.


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Published on Oct 21, 2021