Politicians are failing to deliver climate justice. Lawyers and scientists could do it in court
London (CNN)There were few memorable moments at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow earlier this month, but a video address by the foreign minister of Tuvalu, speaking in a suit while knee-deep in tropical waters, is a hard one to forget.
It was simple but strong message -- while negotiators made agreements to delay action, island nations in the Pacific such as Tuvalu are sinking in rising seas, and could be swallowed entirely as soon as the end of this century.
There are many opinions on whether COP26 was a success or failure. However, there's one thing that the most climate-vulnerable countries left utterly disappointed about -- there was no agreemzent to get wealthy nations, which are most responsible for the climate crisis, to pay compensation for the havoc that climate change is wreaking on the frontlines of the crisis. The much-anticipated summit did little for climate justice.
On Thursday, three young climate activists in the United Kingdom challenged the High Court to hear a case in which they hope to turn that around. They are seeking to sue UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson -- as well as his treasurer, Rishi Sunak, and business chief, Kwasi Kwarteng -- over what they say is a failure to put real action behind the country's own net-zero emissions plan. They claim the leaders are violating not only of their right to life as British citizens, but also of their right to family life, which they argue includes their relatives abroad.
The judge on Thursday reserved -- or delayed -- the decision to give it more consideration, in what could be interpreted as the court taking the case seriously.
The case was first filed in May but a court refused to hear it on several grounds, including questions over whether a UK court has any influence on the lives of people in other countries.
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