A new lawsuit is potentially a game-changer for environmental issues.
This week, the 74th United Nations General Assembly is taking place in New York. While world leaders are gathering to discuss some of the biggest challenges facing the world, young people are speaking out and challenging those in charge to address climate change.
Today, 16 children announced they filed a complaint with the UN against major polluters on the grounds that failure to curb carbon emissions and the effects of climate change violate their rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The complaint names Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, and Turkey— five of the world’s major carbon polluters.
If the petition is successful, the UN would classify the climate crisis as a children’s rights crisis. It would also mean that the five countries listed would have to work with other nations to forge binding emissions’ reduction targets.
The group consists of 16-year-old Swedish-environmental-activist Greta Thunberg, who is credited with starting Fridays for the Future, American Alexandria Villasenor and Carl Smith, and 13 others from around the world.
“This is all wrong, I shouldn’t be up here,” Thunberg said, addressing the General Assembly. “I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. You have stolen my dreams, my childhood with your empty words. We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line.”