European Court of Human Rights asks Turkey to defend climate policies in landmark case

Turkey was asked to submit its defense regarding its climate policies to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) as part of the first-ever climate related complaint to the court. The ECHR ruled on Nov. 30 to proceed with the petition that accuses 33 countries of violating citizens' human rights by failing to counteract the climate crisis.

A group of climate activists hold a banner that reads "Unite behind science" in Istanbul on Sep. 20, 2019.

Duvar English

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has called on Turkey, along with 32 other countries, to defend its climate policies over claims that the lack of action against the climate crisis is violating human rights. 

Filed by six teenage climate activists from Portugal, the first-ever ECHR case concerning the climate accuses 33 countries of gross neglect of the impacts of the climate crisis, to the point that it results in human rights violations.

In a historic ruling on Nov. 30, the ECHR not only chose to proceed with the case and call defendants to testify but also moved the case up as a priority, a point where only 15 percent of cases in 2019 arrived, according to the official plaintiff Global Legal Action Network. 

Turkey is joined by all European Union (EU) countries as the lawsuit's defendants, along with Britain, Switzerland, Norway, Russia, and Ukraine.