After research suggests the younger generation will be facing the effects of climate change, activists in the UK are holding the government responsible.
An eleven-strong group of activists, aged between nine and 79, are taking the U.K. government to court over how the country has failed to reach its own targets over climate change.
Backed by crowdsourcing legal fees, Plan B’s argument that the government is discriminating towards the young by failing to make a fair contribution to the global challenge of climate change, acting irrationally given the severity of the threat, and breaching people’s fundamental human rights to family life and to property.
And it seems the campaign is anything but a flash in the pan legal action. In an unusual decision, Justice Supperstone announced he would reserve his judgment until a later date after the hearing last Wednesday.
The legal case comes after last week when climate advisors in the U.K. warned that the younger generation will be the ones paying the price of climate change. The Committee on Climate Change went on to say they’re “acutely concerned” over the U.K.’s lack of progress in tackling carbon emissions and that cuts have effectively stalled over the past five years.
As reported by the BBC, the ethos behind the group is that Plan A—relying on governments to solve the climate challenge—is failing, so a Plan B, involving legal action, is needed. Despite Plan B’s argument being less clear-cut than cases that have gone before it, in recent history, the government has lost several cases of failing to meet EU air pollution limit, and even the government’s own former chief scientist, David King, has expressed support for the activists.
It’s not just the young that will be at the forefront of worsening environments and severe weather caused by human impact. In March this year, the UN said that 80% of people displaced by climate change are women. The institution noted that as the typical primary caregiver, women are the most vulnerable to both floods and droughts.