Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg and 15 other teenagers have filed a lawsuit against five major carbon polluting countries, claiming that the negligence of these countries in addressing climate change violates their rights as children.
The countries being sued are Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany and Turkey.
The ground-breaking lawsuit, which was announced Monday during the UN Climate Action Summit in New York, claims that the governments of these countries are violating the children’s rights laid out during the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The 1989 convention drafted a treaty that specified the inalienable rights of children to life, health and peace, and remains the most-signed human rights treaty of all time, Earther reports.
Thunberg and her peers claim that these five countries have violated their rights to healthy, happy futures by contributing to climate change, which has the potential to create irreversible damage to the planet within the next decade.
If the suit is successful, the United Nations may be able to classify the climate crisis as a children’s rights crisis and could compel these five countries to work with other nations to reduce their emissions.