Climate change poses an unprecedented threat to the welfare of children and future generations, evidenced in the research findings of climate and health scientists. Despite being disproportionally affected by the long-lasting consequences of climate change, children have been traditionally excluded from participating in and contributing to the decisions concerning this central challenge that will determine their well-being, quality, and duration of their lives. The tide has started to turn with children’s own climate activism and the growing global trends of child- and youth-led climate change litigation. Children and youth across the world increasingly bring claims in international and domestic courts to protect their most fundamental rights. These cases significantly challenge existing norms and doctrines, indicative of their legal and social transformative potential. To closely examine and interpret the impact of these ongoing developments, the Sabin Center’s Peer Review Network on Global Climate Litigation is hosting a webinar on child- and youth-led climate litigation on March 3, 2023. The webinar will explore the types of child- and youth-focused climate litigation cases across different jurisdictions with a focus on understanding the legal, political, and social challenges to a successful outcome. The speakers will reflect on the key issues and cases shaping this distinct body of rights-focused climate litigation and explore the links between children’s rights law, the rights of future generations, and climate justice.
Aoife Nolan, Professor of International Human Rights Law, School of Law, University of Nottingham; President, Council of Europe European Committee of Social Rights; Lead, Advancing Child Rights Strategic Litigation project