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European court links Swiss climate inaction to human rights violation

The France-based court was created to uphold the European Convention on Human Rights, which took effect in 1953.

A shop sign seen in the Swiss capital Bern
A shop sign seen in the Swiss capital Bern (AN/J. Heilprin)

The European Court of Human Rights found that Switzerland has failed to do enough to slow climate change impacts, violating the rights of a group of older Swiss women to have their private and family lives respected.

The Strasbourg, France-based court's landmark ruling in the case of Verein KlimaSeniorinnen Schweiz and Others v. Switzerland on Tuesday could prod more European countries to protect their citizens from planetary warming. But it also leaves it to governments to decide how to meet their obligations.

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