Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Young Climate Activists Sue Colombian Government

Young Colombian activists, ranging in age from seven to 26, have sued their government for its deforestation policies. (Credit: De Justicia) Click to Enlarge.
More than two dozen young Colombians have filed a lawsuit against their government for its failure to curb deforestation, arguing it is violating their constitutional rights to a healthy environment by eliminating a carbon sink vital in the fight against climate change, Reuters reported.

The lawsuit, the first climate change litigation in South America, is the latest example of an increase in climate-based legal challenges around the world. Several California cities and New York City have recently filed lawsuits against oil companies for their role in driving climate change; a group of children in the U.S. are suing the government for its decades of pro-fossil fuel policies, which they contend have violated their constitutional rights to “life, liberty, and property;” and two years ago, the Netherlands’ government was ordered by a federal court to reduce its carbon emissions.

Colombia, which has a swath of rainforest the size of Germany and England combined, has a goal of zero-net deforestation by 2020.  But despite this pledge, forest loss has increased in recent years, rising 44 percent from 2015 to 2016, according to Reuters.

“Deforestation is threatening the fundamental rights of those of us who are young today and will face the impacts of climate change the rest of our lives,” the 25 Colombian plaintiffs, whose ages range from seven to 26, said in a joint statement.  “We are at a critical moment given the speed at which deforestation is happening in the Colombian Amazon.  The government’s lack of capacity and planning, as well as its failure to protect the environment, makes the adoption of urgent measures necessary.”

Read more at Young Climate Activists Sue Colombian Government

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