Older Swiss Women Win Landmark Climate Case at European Court

A group of older Swiss women has achieved a significant victory in their climate case at the European Court of Human Rights.

Mostly in their 70s, these women argued that their age and gender make them particularly vulnerable to the impacts of heatwaves associated with climate change.

The court found that Switzerland’s efforts to meet its emission reduction targets have been woefully inadequate.

This landmark ruling marks the first time the influential court has addressed global warming in its decisions.

The ruling is legally binding and has implications for 46 countries in Europe, including the UK.

The Swiss women, known as KlimaSeniorinnen or Senior Women for Climate Protection, highlighted that they face challenges leaving their homes and experience health issues during heatwaves in Switzerland.

Recent data from Tuesday revealed that last month was the warmest March on record globally, continuing a trend of temperature records being broken for ten consecutive months.

The court rejected two additional cases brought by six Portuguese young people and a former French mayor, who argued that European governments had not taken sufficient action to address climate change promptly, thus violating their rights.

Elisabeth Smart, a member of KlimaSeniorinnen at 76 years old, shared with BBC News her observations of how the climate in Switzerland has evolved since her childhood on a farm.

Reflecting on her nine-year commitment to the case, she remarked, “Some of us are just wired that way. We are not meant to sit idly by; we want to take action.”


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