161 for — 8 abstensions — 0 against
On July 28, 2022, the UN General Assembly adopted a historic resolution declaring access to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, a universal human right. This is huge. And it has been 50 years in the making.
There are many reasons to applaud the many people whi tirelessly fought and advocated for the recognistion of climate rights as human rights, this is their win and we can’t thank them enough.
The thing I am personally most excited about: A boost to sweeping, strategic climate litigation.
Climate litigation has been gaining strength in recent years with civil society and advocacy groups securing important wins, such as the Dutch case against Shell or the German Constituional Court ruling in favour of intergenerational equality. Others, such as a pending case against RWE might tip the scales towards global responsibility, aligning damages that companies cause abroad with where they book their profits (here Peru, Germany). Overall, there are more than 2,000 climate-change related cases being argued world-wide, with some 500 filed between 2020 and 2022. Targets include both governments and the private sector and it is as clear as it is it sad that we need to fight our way through court systems to protect our environment.
In the times we are living in: I cannot wait to see more of this. More wins. More climate justice. To all of you out there fighting to protect our planet: Thank you.