A dozen minors filed a lawsuit with Austria’s top court Tuesday seeking to force the government to ensure their constitutional rights are protected by taking tougher action against climate change.
A lawyer for the group said the case submitted to the Constitutional Court is modelled on a similar lawsuit in Germany that prompted the government there to set new targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions two years ago.
Their lawyer Michaela Kroemer says Austria’s climate law from 2011 doesn’t sufficiently protect the plaintiffs, aged five to 16, from the life-threatening consequences of global warming. Specifically, she said the children’s right to “generational justice” — guaranteed in the Austrian constitution — is breached by the Alpine nation’s climate law.
Kroemer said the lawsuit is backed by the youth climate group Fridays for Future — which was inspired by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg — and financially supported through philanthropic donations.