On July 11, 2022, Plan B. Earth, Adetola Onamade, Jerry Amokwandoh, Marina Tricks, and Tim Crosland filed an application at the European Court of Human Rights against the United Kingdom with a request under Rule 41 (priority). The claimants allege that, in breach of its legal obligations arising under the Human Rights Act 1998 and the European Convention on Human Rights, the UK Government is systematically failing to take practical and effective measures to address the threat from man-made climate breakdown. Articles 2, 8 and 14 of the Convention impose on governments the positive obligation to take reasonable and proportionate steps to safeguard the right to life and to family life and to do so without discrimination. That means: (i) aligning emissions reductions to the 1.5˚C Paris objective; (ii) preparing for the impacts of climate change, so far as that is possible (including by providing the public with good information); (iii) aligning public and private finance flows to the 1.5˚C Paris objective; and (iv) making the polluter pay, with effective mechanisms to ensure compensation and reparation for the victims of climate change.
Nevertheless, in March 2022, the UK Court of Appeal refused to hear the Claimant’s case on the basis that the Paris Agreement was irrelevant: “The fundamental difficulty which the Claimants face is that there is no authority from the European Court of Human Rights on which they can rely, citing the Paris Agreement as being relevant to the interpretation of the ECHR, Articles 2 and 8 [the rights to life and to family life]”. It also ruled that the fact that the family life of the three young people bringing the claim is inextricably linked to communities on the frontline of the crisis in the Global South was irrelevant to determining the scope of their right to family life, despite the prohibition against discrimination in safeguarding Convention rights.
In January 2023, the case was been declared inadmissible pursuant to procedure which does not involve a public decision. The Court found that the applicants were not sufficiently affected by the alleged breach of the Convention or the Protocols thereto to claim to be the victims of a violation within the meaning of Article 34 of the Convention. Accordingly, these complaints are incompatible ratione personae with the provisions of the Convention within the meaning of Article 35 § 3 (a).
|07/11/2022||Application||Download||Application to the ECtHR.|