Euorpean Human rights court condemns Switzerland in climate complaint


STRASBOURG: In a landmark judgement, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has condemned Switzerland for failing to protect the climate in the country. The judges ruled in favour of a group of “Swiss senior citizens” who accused their government of not doing enough to combat climate change.

According to experts, the Strasbourg judgements could be a turning point in the fight against climate change in the run-up to the decisions. Because the judgements could force governments to adopt a more ambitious climate policy.

The ECHR was established in Strasbourg in 1959 by the member states of the Council of Europe to ensure compliance with the European Convention on Human Rights of 1950. This does not contain any explicit provisions on environmental protection. Nevertheless, in earlier cases concerning industry and waste management, the Court obliged states to maintain a “healthy environment”. In doing so, the judges referred to Article 8 of the Convention “the right to respect for private and family life”.