Human Rights Court.

From one of our correspondents.

Reactions to climate ruling The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Switzerland is violating human rights with its flawed climate policy. Paul Lutijhuis of the Norwegian Refugee Council wrote that the ruling had a strong impact on Switzerland.

The Swiss reactions to the climate ruling of the European Court of Human Rights in the KlimaSeniorinnen case are telling. The court ruled on Tuesday that Switzerland was violating human rights by not taking adequate climate measures.

Most politicians see the ruling as the interference of judges in politics.

Small climate.

The harshest ruling came from the far-right Swiss People's Party, the country's largest party. “It is clear that ideology and denial of reality dominate the palaces of European courts,” the party wrote in a response on its website. “The courts have the right to speak, but they do not have the right to engage in politics.” The Swiss People's Party describes Switzerland's climate policy as “utopian” and wants the country to immediately withdraw from the Council of Europe, the organization of European states that established the human rights court as the “conscience of Europe.”

Residents have spoken out against stricter climate policy.

Most politicians see the ruling as the interference of judges in politics. The centre-right Mitti party believes the ruling is incompatible with direct democracy. “In Switzerland, the people have the final say in the referendum,” said Niccolò Paganini, a member of parliament for the city of Mitte, recalling that residents spoke in a referendum a few years ago against stricter climate policy.

“It appears that the court’s decision does not sufficiently respect our democratic rules.”

Aside from some additional climate litigation, the ruling will not have serious consequences for Switzerland, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung newspaper reported. Especially since the court does not rule on what the Swiss must do. The country is still decades away from reaching the ultimate goal (net zero greenhouse gas emissions).


For the entire comprehensive analysis in the NRC, see here.