Climate Lawsuit: Twelve children and young people file a lawsuit against the inadequate Climate Protection Law with the Austrian Constitutional Court
Today, twelve children (aged 5-16) from Austria are filing a climate lawsuit with the Constitutional Court challenging the government's lack of action on the climate crisis which is jeopardizing their future. It is an unprecedented climate lawsuit that could have far-reaching consequences.
The plaintiffs are invoking their children's rights which are protected by the Austrian constitution. The practically ineffective Climate Protection Law of 2011 infringes these children's rights. Due to serious legal deficiencies, it does not lead to a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions and is not able to protect children from the life-threatening consequences of the climate crisis. Thus, the Climate Protection Law is unconstitutional, the children argue.
Attorney Michaela Krömer is representing the children before the Constitutional Court. Fridays For Future and the association CLAW - Initiative for Climate Law are organizing and supporting the lawsuit.
"We children and young people cannot stand idly by any longer while politicians are ruining our future. We are taking legal action because just like our parents we children have the right to a world in which we can live in security and happiness. Children's rights and the Constitution are on our side", says 14-year-old plaintiff Smilla B.
"For years, Fridays For Future has been demanding the revision of the Climate Protection Law in order to (finally) establish compliance with the Paris Agreement. However, since the Climate Protection Law remains ineffective to this day, twelve children are now going to court and Fridays For Future is supporting them", explains Fridays For Future activist Michael Spiekermann.
Attorney Michaela Krömer explains: "The Austrian constitution grants children very special fundamental rights. These rights unequivocally stipulate that the well-being of children must be protected also in terms of intergenerational justice. Children thus have a right to active protection against the consequences of the climate crisis. A Climate Protection Law which lacks greenhouse gas reduction targets, clear responsibilities and an accountability mechanism clearly infringes these constitutional rights. The current sham of climate protection turns the climate crisis into a children's crisis."
Children in other countries have also gone to court for climate protection, for instance in Germany and Portugal. These lawsuits have gained a lot of international attention. Now it is Austria's turn. The strong embedding of children's rights in the Austrian constitution increases the chances of success of the lawsuit.
Pictures, information about the plaintiffs, and details about the lawsuit can be found on our website https://www.fridaysforfuture.at/klimaklage/english
In case you are in Vienna, you are welcome to visit us at the Packhaus (Marxergasse 24, 1030 Vienna) between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. today. We offer you:
- Interviews with the plaintiffs, lawyer Michaela Krömer and FFF activists.
- Answers to all questions that have not been answered on the website.
You can reach us by phone at +43 670 7030490.
Interview requests can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
There will also be a press hour for international journalists starting at 11:30 a.m. (CET) via the following link: https://fffutu.re/Austrian-Climate-Courtcase-interantional-press-briefing