Large parts of the countries interior look spooky these days with charred trees and incinerated road signs.
40% off all wildfires in Europe this year occurred in Portugal, far more than in any other country.
Last summer schoolchildren from the Leiria region in central Portugal watched their district burn as a result of the most destructive and deadliest forest fires in the country’s history. The fires – which have been linked by some experts to climate change – have claimed the lives of at least 65 people and left hundreds injured.
“Climate change causes many problems, but if I had to name the one that worries me most, it would be the increase in the number of wildfires – especially this summer as the fires caused many deaths in our country”, says a boy of the group of children – aged between 6 and 14 – from Leiria, seeking crowdfunding to sue 47 European countries for their failure to tackle climate change, threatening their right to life.
These countries are collectively responsible for about 15% of global greenhouse emissions. They also hold a significant proportion of the world’s known fossil fuel reserves. The case is also being taken to court to raise public awareness about the shortcomings in government policies on climate change.
With the support of the NGO Global Legal Action Network (GLAN), the group of children taking action is seeking an initial £35,000 to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg The crowdfunding bid was published on the platform CrowdJustice [ https://www.crowdjustice.com ] and to date, just over half of the amount needed, has been pledged.
“Tragedies like this are becoming the new norm because governments are failing to make the necessary cuts to their greenhouse emissions”, according to a spokesman from GLAN.
“Instead of suing just Portugal, the case will be taken against all of the major emitters, which have signed up to the European Convention on Human Rights.”
“The court will be asked two things. Firstly, that these 47 countries must significantly strengthen their emissions-cutting policies and secondly, that they must commit to keeping most of their existing fossil fuel reserves in the ground”.
A victory, in this case, would be ground-breaking as the decisions of the Court are binding across Europe.
Bom fim de semana ( photo’s SAPO)