Six Portuguese youth ages 8-21 filed a lawsuit in September with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) alleging that the governments of 33 European countries have not done enough to prevent the impacts of climate change from violating their human rights. In a landmark decision, the court announced it would take the case to the next step: forwarding it to defendant countries and ordering them to respond to the case’s arguments. The court also granted the case priority status and extended its scope. Only about 15% of cases submitted to the ECHR made it to this stage in 2019 and even fewer were fast-tracked.

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