- Human Rights Research Center
Swiss Court Case on Climate Change and Human Rights
March 30, 2023
Cited article by Imogen Foulkes and Adam Durbin, BBC News
HRRC applauds the efforts of the Club of Climate Seniors in bringing their case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Climate change has a serious impact on human rights globally. The rising temperatures lead to food and water insecurity, as well as exacerbate physical health issues.
2,000 Swiss women who refer to themselves as the Club of Climate Seniors are taking their case to the ECHR. The case is the first of its kind under the ECHR and the outcome will set a precedent for all 46 member states of the Court. The Club of Climate Seniors claim Switzerland's policy on climate change is violating their human rights and that the government should work harder to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
According to the European Climate and Health Observatory, increases in average temperature will likely have "serious impacts on public health" across Europe, particularly among elderly people. In fact, over the past 20 years, the heat-related mortality rate of people over 65 years old has increased by 30%. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) also recently released a report stressing that a liveable future is at risk due to climate change, and that Europe will be extremely vulnerable to heatwaves and floods.