Climate change: Switzerland defies landmark court ruling in Strasbourg

His Lower House Switzerland rejected him Historic decision of the European Court of Human Rights forced the country to do more to deal with it climate changea move that could encourage other governments to ignore the rulings of international courts.

In April, a Strasbourg court issued an unprecedented ruling that Bern had violated the law. Human rights A group of elderly Swiss women, called KlimaSeniorinnen, for failing to fight climate change.

Switzerland’s position will “undermine the role of legal oversight in democratic governance”

In Switzerland, several politicians and media claim that the court decision challenges democratic institutions.

On Wednesday, the lower house in Bern followed the upper house’s decision and adopted a non-binding motion of 72 to 111 criticizing the European court’s “judicial activism”. The text states that since Switzerland has already done enough, there is no reason to take additional measures.

At the meeting, the deputies condemned the “interference” of the court in the Swiss Republic, and the elderly women who sought refuge in Strasbourg watched the process.

In fact, one MP from the hard-line Swiss People’s Party (SVP), the parliament’s largest party, mocked the women for applying because they were “too hot in the summer”.

The comment comes in response to arguments that the government’s inadequate efforts to combat climate change are putting citizens at risk of dying in heat waves.

“Disturbing precedent”

“What’s happening now is really unacceptable,” he said Reuters Stephanie Brande, 68, in a shaky voice. “It is an insult and disrespect to our rights confirmed by the international court.

Outside parliament, a small group of climate protesters held placards with slogans such as “Betrayal”, “Shock” and “Disturbed”.

Although the Federal Council, i.e. the Swiss government, is free to disobey Parliament’s decisions, one of its members, the environment minister, questions this decision.

Isabella Kesnig, a legal researcher at the London School of Economics, said that if the government refused to comply with the ruling, it would be a “disturbing legal precedent that would undermine the role of legal oversight in democratic governance”.

Once formalized, such a move would be unprecedented for the Council of Europe.

It will also be evidence of a political backlash against international climate action following the far-right’s sweeping gains in recent European elections.

The case is part of climate appeals in international courts.

The Latin American human rights court is expected to issue an advisory opinion this year.

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