Climate and Human Rights: the latest European Court of Human Rights’ judgment – and what it means for business

Anna Triponel

April 11, 2024

🚨Everyone is talking about … Verein KlimaSeniorinnen Schweiz and Others v. Switzerland. 

 This is the most landmark of the landmark judgments! 

 The news coming out from the European Court of Human Rights – and its Grand Chamber – in Strasbourg this week (9th April) is hugely significant, for governments, companies and individuals alike.  

✅ Does government inaction on climate change violate human rights? The answer is: Yes.

✅ Do governments now legally have to take science-based actions to limit global warming to 1.5°C as set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement? Yes. And the legal grounding for this is: human rights law.

✅ Do companies need to revisit projects and activities that may be legal but that are not aligned with the 1.5°C pathway? Yes.

✅ Do companies need to up their game on their climate transition plans to ensure that they equip the company to reach net zero by 2050 in a science-based way? Yes.

✅ And do companies need to connect their human rights due diligence to the latest science on climate change as well as their climate change impacts and actions? Again, the same answer: Yes. 

You can find the full judgment here. See below for our Briefing Note, which captures text from the judgment. The text has been summarised and condensed to enhance readability.

Please click here to download the briefing note

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