In Colombia, a group of 25 children and young people have just made legal history: They successfully put their government on trial for causing climate change and thereby endangering the fundamental rights of its citizens.
Colombia’s Supreme Court agreed with the young plaintiffs that the government had done too little to halt deforestation in the Amazon, despite its commitment to achieve net-zero deforestation by 2020. This, the justices decided, amounted to a threat to the plaintiffs’ rights to a healthy environment, life, health, food, and water.
The judges ordered the presidency and the Ministries of Environment and Agriculture to create an “intergenerational pact for the life of the Colombian Amazon” within five months, and to formulate short-, medium-, and long-term goals to tackle deforestation. The court also recognized that the Amazon itself has rights, and that the state also has a duty to conserve and protect them. [Continue reading…]