Human rights violated by inaction on climate, ECHR rules in landmark case | Climate crisis

Weak government climate policies violate fundamental human rights, the European court of human rights has ruled.

In a landmark decision on one of three major climate cases, the first such rulings by an international court, the ECHR raised judicial pressure on governments to stop filling the atmosphere with gases that make extreme weather more violent.

The court’s top bench ruled that Switzerland had violated rights of a group of older Swiss women to family life, but threw out a French mayor’s case against France and that of a group of young Portuguese people against 32 European countries.

“It feels like a mixed result because two of the cases were inadmissible,” said Corina Heri, a law researcher at the University of Zürich. “But actually it’s a huge success.”

The court, which calls itself “the conscience of Europe”, found that Switzerland had failed to comply with its duties to stop climate change. It also set out a path for organisations to bring further cases on behalf of applicants.

The Swiss verdict opens up all 46 members of the Council of Europe to similar cases in national courts that they are likely to lose.

Joie Chowdhury, an attorney at the Centre for International Environmental Law campaign group, said the judgment left no doubt that the climate crisis was a human rights crisis. “We expect this ruling to influence climate action and climate litigation across Europe and far beyond,” she said.

The facts of the three cases varied widely, but they all hinged on the question of whether government inaction on climate change violated fundamental human rights. Some of the governments argued that the cases should not be admitted, and that climate policy should be the subject of national governments rather than international courts.

The plaintiffs attending the hearing in the court in Strasbourg, some as young as 12, celebrated after a member of a panel of 17 judges read out the verdicts. The climate activist Greta Thunberg joined a gathering outside the court before the hearing to encourage faster action.

The KlimaSeniorinnen, a group of 2,400 older Swiss women, told the court that several of their rights were being violated. Because older women are more likely to die in heatwaves – which have become hotter and more common because of fossil fuels – they argued that Switzerland do its share to stop the planet heating by the Paris agreement target of 1.5C (2.7F) above preindustrial levels.

The court ruled that Swiss authorities had not acted in time to come up with a good enough strategy to cut emissions. It also found the applicants had not had appropriate access to justice in Switzerland.

But it also rejected the cases of four individual applicants who had joined the KlimaSeniorinnen.

“I’m very happy,” said Nicole Barbry, 70, a member of the KlimaSeniorinnen who had come to Strasbourg. “It’s good that they’re finally listening to us.”

The Portuguese children and young people – who because of their age will see greater climate damage than previous generations – argued that climate-fuelled disasters such as wildfires and smoke threatened their right to life and discriminated against them based on their age.

The court did not admit the case, deciding that the applicants could not bring cases against countries other than Portugal and adding that they had not pursued legal avenues in Portugal against the government.

“Their [the Swiss] win is a win for us, too,” said Sofia Oliveira, a 19-year-old applicant in the Portuguese case. “And a win for everyone.”

The French case, brought by the MEP Damien Carême, argued that France’s failure to do enough to stop climate change violated his rights to life and privacy and family life. Carême filed the case when he was the mayor of Grand-Synthe, a coastal town vulnerable to flooding. The court did not admit the case because Carême no longer lives there.

The ECHR rejects about 90% of all applications it receives as inadmissible but fast-tracked the three climate cases to its top bench because of their urgency. It delayed hearings on six more climate cases to get a result on the rulings on Tuesday.

The rulings will influence three other international courts that are examining the role of government climate policy on human rights.

Charlotte Blattner, a researcher at the University of Berne who specialises in climate law, said the court had delivered a bold judgment in favour of a viable future. “The nature and gravity of the threat of climate change – and the urgency to effectively respond to it – require that governments can and will have to be held accountable for their lack of adequate action,” she said.

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Green Living: Tips for Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

Are you interested in making a positive impact on the environment? One way to do so is by adopting green living practices that can help reduce your carbon footprint. By making simple changes to your daily routine, you can minimize your impact on the planet and promote a more sustainable way of life.

Green living involves making conscious choices that prioritize environmental sustainability. This can include reducing waste, conserving energy, and choosing eco-friendly products. By incorporating these practices into your lifestyle, you can help protect the planet for future generations.

One of the key ways to reduce your carbon footprint is by being mindful of your energy consumption. This can include using energy-efficient appliances, turning off lights when not in use, and adjusting your thermostat to conserve energy. By making these small changes, you can significantly reduce your carbon emissions and lower your overall impact on the environment.

According to experts, green living is essential for creating a more sustainable future. As environmental advocate David Suzuki once said, “We have a responsibility to protect the planet for future generations.” By adopting green living practices, you can play a part in preserving the environment for years to come.

In addition to conserving energy, green living also involves reducing waste and choosing sustainable products. This can include recycling, composting, and opting for reusable items instead of disposable ones. By making these choices, you can minimize your impact on the planet and promote a more sustainable way of life.

If you’re looking for more tips on how to reduce your carbon footprint and live a greener lifestyle, check out the resources available at Planetary Citizens. By making simple changes to your daily routine, you can make a positive impact on the environment and help create a more sustainable future for all.

For more information on sustainable living and how you can reduce your carbon footprint, visit Planetary Citizens today. Together, we can work towards a greener, more sustainable future for our planet.


– David Suzuki, Environmental Advocate

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Discover the Best Sustainable Living Books of 2021

Are you looking to educate yourself on sustainable living in 2021? Well, look no further! In this article, we will help you discover the best sustainable living books of 2021.

Sustainable living is becoming increasingly important in today’s world, as we aim to reduce our carbon footprint and live more in harmony with the planet. By reading books on this topic, you can gain valuable insights and tips on how to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

One of the top books on sustainable living in 2021 is “The Sustainable Living Book” by Sarah Callaway. This book covers a wide range of topics, from reducing waste to growing your own food. Callaway emphasizes the importance of making small changes in our daily lives to contribute to a more sustainable future.

Another must-read book is “Living Green: The Ultimate Guide to Sustainable Living” by Jennifer Nini. Nini provides practical advice on how to live a more eco-friendly life, covering everything from reducing energy consumption to ethical fashion choices. As Nini says, “Sustainable living is not a trend, it’s a responsibility.”

According to sustainable living expert, Jane Goodall, “Education is key to creating a more sustainable world. By reading books on sustainable living, we can learn how to make more environmentally-friendly choices in our daily lives.” Goodall’s words highlight the importance of educating ourselves on this topic.

If you’re interested in exploring more sustainable living books, be sure to check out the recommendations on Planetary Citizens. Their website offers a wealth of information on sustainable living practices and how we can all do our part to protect the planet. Click here to learn more about sustainable living.

So, if you’re looking to deepen your knowledge on sustainable living in 2021, be sure to pick up some of these top books. By educating yourself on this important topic, you can make a positive impact on the planet and inspire others to do the same. Happy reading!

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Country diary: Waves of white flowers force me to pull off the road | Environment

Opinion on Stoney Middleton is divided. Henry Salt, an animal rights campaigner and friend of Gandhi, relied on the village for his wildflower fix when he lived near Chesterfield. He regularly walked seven miles across the moors to get to Stoney’s dramatic gorge, the nearest limestone within his reach. But it was not, he decided, “one of the pleasantest of Peakland villages”. Though “naturally beautiful”, he wrote, it was also “sadly deformed”.

Knowing something of its rich human history – the highwaymen, thwarted lovers, crystal meth cooks and Hollywood stars – I reckon the village can look after itself. Approaching Middleton Dale, on the other hand, a little to the west, I could appreciate Salt’s perspective. Centuries of quarrying tore chunks from this valley, and blasting out a turnpike in the early 19th century bequeathed the village a busy main road that must annoy those living near it. (In better news, the turnpike’s tollbooth, now a listed building, has been a notable fish and chip shop for the best part of a hundred years.)

In full bloom: alpine rock cress (Arabis alpina). Photograph: HHelene/Alamy

Nature has done her best to heal the damage. When the fish and chip shop opened in 1926, the dale’s scars were more obvious. Now they’re cloaked in scrubby woodland, which in early summer is warmly vibrant. This spring, though, after weeks of unseasonable cold, upper branches have remained bare, while trunks have been wreathed in dark ivy, only somewhat lightened by emerging drifts of dog’s mercury – classic ground cover on a limestone woodland floor. Dropping into the dale from above can provoke a chill foreboding as the walls close in.

Today, though, the dale seemed lit up. Rafts of rock cress, having found a toehold in cracks and on ledges on the gorge’s rock faces, were now in blossom, smothering the bulging limestone buttresses with drifts of white flowers. It was so startling that I pulled off the road to marvel at this glorious transformation. The plant’s leaves were freshly green, snag-toothed and narrowing to the stem, the flowers’ cruciform petals arranged around lemon yellow anthers, the whole arrangement filling the void above my head to light the way.

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Sustainable Living Builders: Creating Homes for a Greener Tomorrow

In today’s world, the importance of sustainable living builders cannot be overstated. These builders are at the forefront of creating homes that not only provide comfort and shelter but also prioritize the well-being of the planet. Sustainable living builders are dedicated to constructing homes that are energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, and built to last for generations to come.

According to a report by the National Association of Home Builders, sustainable living builders are seeing a rise in demand for eco-friendly homes. Consumers are becoming more conscious of their environmental impact and are seeking out homes that are built with sustainability in mind. As a result, sustainable living builders are incorporating green building practices into their projects to meet this growing demand.

One key figure in the sustainable living movement is architect and environmentalist, Bill McDonough. McDonough is a strong advocate for sustainable design and has stated, “We need to create buildings that are not only beautiful and functional but also regenerative and restorative to the environment.” His words highlight the importance of sustainable living builders in creating homes that are truly beneficial to both occupants and the planet.

Sustainable living builders focus on using renewable materials, maximizing energy efficiency, and minimizing waste in their construction practices. By incorporating these principles into their projects, they are setting the standard for a greener tomorrow. As more and more people become aware of the benefits of sustainable living, the demand for eco-friendly homes will continue to rise.

If you are considering building a new home or renovating an existing one, it is worth seeking out sustainable living builders who can help you create a space that is both environmentally conscious and comfortable. By working with these builders, you can be confident that your home is not only built to last but also built to minimize its impact on the planet.

To learn more about sustainable living and how sustainable living builders are shaping the future of home construction, visit [Planetary Citizens]( for resources and information on sustainable living practices. Let’s work together to create a greener tomorrow for all.

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Green Living: How to Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly

Are you looking to reduce your carbon footprint and live a more sustainable lifestyle? Green living is the way to go! Making your home more eco-friendly is not only beneficial for the environment, but it can also save you money in the long run. In this article, we will discuss some simple steps you can take to make your home more eco-friendly.

One of the easiest ways to make your home more eco-friendly is by reducing energy consumption. This can be done by switching to energy-efficient appliances, installing programmable thermostats, and using LED light bulbs. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, using energy-efficient appliances can save you up to 30% on your energy bills. By making these simple changes, you can significantly reduce your carbon footprint and help protect the environment.

Another important aspect of green living is reducing water consumption. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American family uses more than 300 gallons of water per day. By installing low-flow showerheads, fixing leaks, and using water-saving appliances, you can significantly reduce your water usage. Not only will this help conserve water resources, but it can also save you money on your water bills.

Incorporating sustainable materials into your home is also key to green living. This can include using recycled materials, bamboo flooring, and non-toxic paint. According to environmental expert Jane Goodall, “Choosing sustainable materials is not only good for the environment, but it can also create a healthier living space for you and your family.” By using sustainable materials, you can reduce your carbon footprint and help support a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

Creating a green living space is not only beneficial for the environment, but it can also improve your quality of life. By making your home more eco-friendly, you can reduce your energy and water consumption, save money on utility bills, and create a healthier living environment for you and your family. So why not start making small changes today to make your home more sustainable?

For more tips on sustainable living and green living, visit Planetary Citizens at sustainable living. Let’s work together to create a more eco-friendly world for future generations.

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England could produce 13 times more renewable energy, using less than 3% of land – analysis | Renewable energy

England could produce 13 times more renewable energy than it does now, while using less than 3% of its land, analysis has found.

Onshore wind and solar projects could provide enough electricity to power all the households in England two and a half times over, the research by Exeter University, commissioned by Friends of the Earth (FoE), suggested.

Currently, about 17 gigawatt hours of electricity comes from homegrown renewables on land. But there is potential for 130 GWh to come from solar panels, and 96GWh from onshore wind.

These figures are reached by only taking into account the most suitable sites, excluding national parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty, higher grade agricultural land and heritage sites.

Some commentators have argued that solar farms will reduce the UK’s ability to grow its own food, but the new analysis suggests there is plenty of land that can be used without impairing agricultural production. More land is now taken up by golf courses than solar farms, and developers can be required to enhance biodiversity through simple measures such as maintaining hedgerows and ponds.

Onshore windfarms were in effect banned in 2015 by the then prime minister, David Cameron. Rishi Sunak last year claimed to make moves towards lifting the ban, through small changes to the planning regulations, but campaigners say they were ineffectual and real planning reform is needed. No plans were submitted for new windfarms in England last year, and few new developments are coming forward, despite high gas prices, rising bills and onshore wind being the cheapest form of electricity generation.

The calculations of the land needed exclude rooftop solar panels. Ministers have resisted calls for solar panels to be made mandatory on new-build housing. Kitting out a new-build home with renewables, high-grade insulation and other low-carbon features costs less than £5,000 for a housing developer, but retrofitting it to the same standard costs about £20,000, with the cost borne by the householder. Housing developers are among the largest donors to the Conservative party.

FoE has produced a map that shows potential sites for onshore wind and solar generation. North Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and the East Riding of Yorkshire show particularly good potential. The sites total about 374,900 hectares (926,400 acres), or about 2.9% of the available land in England.

Tony Bosworth, climate campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: “Unleashing the UK’s immense potential to generate cheap, clean homegrown renewables is essential to bring down our energy bills for good and meeting the UK’s vital international target to reduce carbon emissions by two-thirds by 2030. But the current government’s record on boosting our energy security through renewables is woefully inadequate and has left the UK lagging far behind in the global race to a zero-carbon economy. Meanwhile, Labour is looking increasingly shaky on climate after rolling back its planned investment in green growth.”

He called on all the main parties to commit to lifting restrictions on onshore windfarms in England; for local authorities to identify suitable areas for renewable development; for upgrades to the electricity grid to enable the vast expansion of renewable energy; and for tougher requirements on renewable developers to protect biodiversity.

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Local communities can also be helped to benefit from renewable developments, for instance through being offered cheaper power or a share in the development.

Bosworth said: “We urgently need our political leaders to pull their heads out of the sand and produce a strong, ambitious and fair new climate plan that lifts the barriers to onshore wind and solar power and secures investment in the infrastructure needed to support the switch to renewables. These are win-win policies for creating long-term jobs, boosting our ailing economy and protecting our planet for future generations.”

A Department for Energy Security and Net Zero spokesperson said: “Onshore wind power capacity has almost quadrupled since 2010 and renewables account for nearly half of our electricity, up from just 7%. We’ve also streamlined planning rules in England to make it easier for councils to identify suitable land for onshore wind. Our latest renewables auction has its largest ever budget of £1bn, including a record £800m pot for offshore wind, to further strengthen our world-leading clean energy sector, supporting a range of renewables from onshore wind to solar.”

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How Technology is Driving Sustainable Living: Top Apps to Get You Started

Are you looking to make your lifestyle more sustainable? Technology is here to help! In today’s digital age, there are a plethora of apps that can assist you in living a greener life. From reducing your carbon footprint to conserving energy, these apps can help you make a positive impact on the environment. In this article, we will explore how technology is driving sustainable living and provide you with some top apps to get you started.

According to environmental experts, technology plays a crucial role in promoting sustainability. Dr. Jane Goodall, a renowned primatologist and conservationist, states, “Technology has the power to revolutionize the way we live and interact with the planet. By harnessing the power of technology, we can create a more sustainable future for generations to come.”

One of the key ways technology is driving sustainable living is through the development of eco-friendly apps. These apps offer a range of features, from monitoring your energy usage to helping you reduce waste. By incorporating these apps into your daily routine, you can make a significant impact on the environment.

Here are some top apps to get you started on your sustainable living journey:

1. Ecosia: This search engine app uses its ad revenue to plant trees around the world. By simply searching the web through Ecosia, you can contribute to reforestation efforts and help combat climate change.

2. JouleBug: This app gamifies sustainability by encouraging users to complete eco-friendly challenges and earn points. With JouleBug, you can track your progress in areas such as energy conservation, waste reduction, and water usage.

3. Too Good To Go: This app connects users with local restaurants and grocery stores to purchase surplus food at a discounted price. By rescuing food that would otherwise go to waste, you can help reduce food waste and save money.

4. Good On You: This app provides ethical ratings for fashion brands, allowing users to make informed decisions about their clothing purchases. By supporting sustainable and ethical fashion brands, you can help promote fair labor practices and reduce environmental impact.

5. Olio: This app connects neighbors to share surplus food and other household items, reducing waste and building community connections. By participating in the sharing economy through Olio, you can help reduce landfill waste and promote a culture of sharing.

These are just a few examples of the many apps available to help you live a more sustainable lifestyle. By incorporating technology into your daily routine, you can make a positive impact on the environment and contribute to a more sustainable future.

To learn more about sustainable living and how technology is driving this movement, visit Planetary Citizens. Sustainable living is not just a trend – it’s a way of life that benefits both people and the planet. Start making a difference today with the help of technology and these top apps!

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10 Ways Sustainable Living Academy is Changing the World

Have you heard about the sustainable living Academy? This innovative organization is making waves in the world of sustainability, and it’s easy to see why. Here are 10 ways Sustainable Living Academy is changing the world for the better.

1. Education for a Sustainable Future

The Sustainable Living Academy is dedicated to educating individuals about the importance of sustainable living practices. Through their courses and workshops, they empower people to make positive changes in their daily lives that benefit both the planet and future generations.

According to environmental expert Dr. Jane Goodall, “Education is the key to creating a more sustainable world. The work being done by the Sustainable Living Academy is crucial in shaping a better future for all.”

2. Community Engagement

One of the key pillars of the Sustainable Living Academy is community engagement. By fostering a sense of belonging and collaboration among members, they are able to create a network of like-minded individuals who are committed to making a difference in the world.

Renowned environmentalist David Suzuki has praised the Academy’s community-focused approach, stating that “Sustainable living is not just about individual actions, but about coming together as a community to create real change.”

3. Promoting Renewable Energy

The Sustainable Living Academy is a strong advocate for renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power. By promoting the adoption of these clean energy technologies, they are helping to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change.

According to energy expert Dr. Mark Jacobson, “Renewable energy is the future, and organizations like the Sustainable Living Academy are leading the way in promoting its widespread adoption.”

4. Waste Reduction Strategies

Another way the Sustainable Living Academy is making an impact is through their waste reduction strategies. By promoting practices such as composting, recycling, and upcycling, they are helping to minimize the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.

Environmental activist Lauren Singer commends the Academy’s focus on waste reduction, stating that “Every little action counts when it comes to reducing waste, and the Sustainable Living Academy is doing important work in this area.”

5. Sustainable Agriculture Practices

The Sustainable Living Academy is also a proponent of sustainable agriculture practices such as organic farming and permaculture. By promoting these methods, they are helping to protect the environment, conserve natural resources, and promote food security.

Renowned farmer and author Joel Salatin believes that sustainable agriculture is crucial for our future, stating that “The Sustainable Living Academy is doing important work in educating people about the benefits of sustainable farming practices.”

In conclusion, the Sustainable Living Academy is a force to be reckoned with in the world of sustainability. By focusing on education, community engagement, renewable energy, waste reduction, and sustainable agriculture, they are truly changing the world for the better. If you want to learn more about sustainable living practices and how you can make a difference, be sure to check out the Sustainable Living Academy.

Visit their website at Sustainable Living Academy to learn more about their mission and programs. Together, we can create a more sustainable future for all.

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World’s biggest economies pumping billions into fossil fuels in poor nations | Fossil fuels

The world’s biggest economies have continued to finance the expansion of fossil fuels in poor countries to the tune of billions of dollars, despite their commitments on the climate.

The G20 group of developed and developing economies, and the multilateral development banks they fund, put $142bn (£112bn) into fossil fuel developments overseas from 2020 to 2022, according to estimates compiled by the campaigning groups Oil Change International (OCI) and Friends of the Earth US.

Canada, Japan and South Korea were the biggest sources of such finance in the three years studied, and gas received more funding than either coal or oil.

The G7 group of biggest economies, to which Japan and Canada belong, pledged in 2022 to halt overseas funding of fossil fuels. But while funding for coal has rapidly diminished, finance for oil and gas projects has continued at a strong pace.

Some of the money is going to other developed economies, including Australia, but much of it is to the developing world. However, richer middle income countries still receive more finance than the poorest.

The most recent G7 pledge, in the study, is to phase out all overseas fossil fuel funding by the end of 2022. The OCI study concentrates on the period from the beginning of the fiscal year of 2020-21 for each country, to the end of the fiscal year of 2022-23.

However, the researchers also found that Japan had continued to make new fossil fuel investments overseas in the past few weeks, up to mid-March 2024, exploiting loopholes in its promise to end fossil fuel funding.

The World Bank provided about $1.2bn a year to fossil fuels over the three-year period, of which about two-thirds went to gas projects.

The US, Germany and Italy also provided billions in funding a year to overseas fossil fuel projects before the end of 2022-23, according to the report published on Tuesday. The UK supplied about $600m a year on average.

Canada supplied just under $11bn a year on average, in the 2020-22 period studied, while South Korea put forward $10bn and Japan about $7bn.

Over the same three-year period, the G20 economies put about $104bn into clean energy developments overseas, according to the report.

Cop28 president hails ‘historic’ deal to transition away from fossil fuels – video

Claire O’Manique, a public finance analyst at OCI, said: “While rich countries continue to drag their feet and claim they can’t afford to fund a globally just energy transition, countries like Canada, Korea, Japan and the US appear to have no shortage of public funds for climate-wrecking fossil fuels.

“We must continue to hold wealthy countries accountable for their role in funding the climate crisis, and demand they move first and fastest on a fossil fuel phase-out, to stop funding fossil fuels, and that they pay their fair share of a globally just transition, loss and damage and adaptation finance.”

Makiko Arima, a senior finance campaigner at OCI, called on Japan particularly to stop supporting fossil fuels. Japan has lobbied behind the scenes to stop G7 countries adopting a stronger stance on fossil fuels, and in favour of some key projects.

Arima said: “Japan is derailing the transition to renewable energy across Asia and globally. Despite its G7 commitment to end fossil fuel financing, its public financial institutions like the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) continue to support new fossil fuel projects, including the Scarborough gasfield in Australia and gas power plants in Mexico.

“JBIC is currently investigating a claim that it failed to follow its social and environmental safeguards in developing the Philippines’ first LNG [liquefied natural gas] terminal in Batangas. Japan needs to put people and planet over profit, and shift its finances from fossil fuels to renewables.”

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