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Greta Thunberg seeks UN support against five countries in total for supporting fossil fuels. Girls and boys face “increased mortality and disease” from climate change, she warned.

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg and 15 other youths urged the UN to accept their permanent claim against five countries, which they say have been unable to protect children from imminent and foreseeable risk to their health and well-being.

Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany and Turkey have been accused of “breaching their obligations under the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, by promoting fossil fuels and not controlling greenhouse gas emissions for decades, despite knowing the risks of climate change, ” the group said in a press release.

With the lawsuit, Thunberg and his fellow activists escalate a confrontation with the five countries that stemmed from a lawsuit they formally filed with the UN in September 2019.

The group focused on these countries, as they are the largest climate polluters of the 45 nations that have adopted an optional protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The 2019 complaint alleges that countries knew about the negative impact on the environment of their carbon emissions and did nothing to prevent it.


Thunberg joined the lawsuit by petitioners between the ages of eight and 17, from Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, India, Palau, the Marshall Islands, Nigeria, South Africa, Sweden, Tunisia, and the United States.

“Children are among the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change because, as the Lancet countdown states, they face an increase in deaths and diseases from global warming,” activists said.

Three countries, Brazil, France and Germany, responded to the demand, according to the press release, arguing that the claims against them were “unfounded”, that the complaint was “inadmissible in the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child”, and that “the climate crisis is so global that no isolated State has responsibility.”


Activists rejected the objections. “No state acting in the best interest of the child would impose the devastating burden of weak climate policies on young and future generations like these five countries have,” Thunberg and the group said.

Activists noted that Brazil, France and Germany “are not doing their part by meeting the most ambitious goal of the 2015 Paris Agreement – to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees – despite the scientific consensus that this path is the minimum necessary to prevent irreversible threats to human rights. ”

Furthermore, they argued that these countries were still taking steps to accelerate rather than mitigate climate change, such as subsidizing fossil fuels.


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