Press Release: Epochal decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)

16. December 2020

On November 30, 2020, the ECHR allowed a direct action by 6 Portuguese children and adolescents against 33 European states on the grounds of danger to life and limb due to insufficiently effective state climate protection measures.

The plaintiffs could not be expected to go through the courts of these states as an exception due to the extraordinary urgency in terms of time and content, and the action is also of overriding general interest.

The court thus follows the groundbreaking argumentation of the plaintiffs' supporting "Global Legal Action Network" (GLAN) and their legal officer Gerry Liston.

In an urgent procedure, the ECHR now requires the 33 European countries sued to provide evidence of sufficiently effective national climate protection measures within 3 months.

European court orders countries to respond to lawsuit from young climate activists | Global Ideas | DW | 30.11.2020

Portuguese Youth Climate Case v 33 Countries – Portuguese young people versus 33 countries ( 

Here is the application form: Application-form-annex.pdf (

In this unique case, for the first time in the world, it has been possible to force the European governments by urgent proceedings and at the highest level to show within 3 months to what extent they have adopted and implemented sufficiently effective climate protection measures in accordance with their obligations under the Paris Agreement.

Congratulations to the courageous plaintiffs and the most innovative GLAN team as well as to the exceptionally responsible judges of the ECHR.

Alone due to the fact that the limitation of the global warming aimed at in the Paris Agreement on 1,5 degrees according to the newest scientific statements of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) not approximately only in 2100 but already in 2024 are reached and further drastically exceeded - so that with continued not sufficient fulfillment of the Paris Agreement approx. 2100 absolutely deadly 5 degrees would be reached -,

Microsoft Word - WMO_Annual_to_Decadal_Climate_Update_2019 (

2020 may be third hottest year on record, world could hit climate change milestone by 2024 | | UN News

it is to be expected that the European Court of Human Rights, after professional examination, will condemn all defendant states to immediate and absolutely drastic climate protection measures, possibly even to an extraordinarily short-term immediate phase-out of all fossil energy as well as to an extraordinarily short-term complete conversion to renewable energies.

Because only in such a way and only now a threatening exceeding of the 1.5 degree goal in 2024 as well as a global absolutely deadly 5 degrees heat catastrophe in 2100 could possibly still be effectively prevented.

Karlsruhe, 15.12.2020
Gisela Toussaint
Geigersbergstr. 31
76227 Karlsruhe

This press release can be downloaded here.

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