For the first time, the Court has confirmed that the adverse impacts of climate change fall within the ambit of human rights protection under the European Convention of Human Rights, obliging States to implement effective mitigation measures.

By Paul A. Davies, Sophie J. Lamb KC, Michael D. Green, James Bee, and Stephanie Forrest

On 9 April 2024, the European Court of Human Rights delivered three Grand Chamber rulings in climate change-related cases. These three separate judgments are the latest in a number of climate litigation in recent years. While two of the cases were dismissed as inadmissible on varying grounds, the Court concluded that Switzerland had breached Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) by failing to implement effective measures to combat climate change. This development is highly likely to lead to similar challenges to governments’ climate policies in the near future, and likely influence the litigation strategy of those bringing actions against both States and companies.

Read the Client Alert