Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg today joined a group of 16 teens to file a formal complaint with the United Nations, alleging five countries have violated their human rights through inaction on climate change.
CNN reports the children, who hail from 12 countries, today singled out Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, and Turkey for allegedly falling short of their commitments to 1989’s Convention on the Rights of the Child agreement (UNCRC).
The group is not seeking financial compensation, but has urged the UN to compel those nations to take further action to stem carbon emissions.
Speaking at a New York City press conference, complainant Litokne Kabua, 16, states his livelihood in the Marshall Islands is threatened by rising sea levels.
“I would show you my backyard,” Kabua said, referring to rising sea levels in the low-lying region.
Climate change “is the first thing you see when you go outside,” he added in a statement.
“It is happening a lot more, a lot more… you cannot ignore it.”
Carl Smith, 17, said climate change has altered food-gathering practices in Alaska’s indigenous Yupiaq communities.
“I think they should go see what [climate change] is doing to little villages and cities,” Smith said of the nations listed in the group’s complaint.
Today, 16 children – including @GretaThunberg & @AlexandriaV2005 – file a landmark complaint on the climate crisis to the UN child rights committee.— UNICEF (@UNICEF) September 23, 2019
They’re demanding #ClimateAction now, #ForEveryChild. #UNGA https://t.co/KWkazLF8N1
While dominant economies like China, USA, and India are global leaders in carbon emissions, they were not named in the complaint as those nations have not ratified a crucial 2014 amendment to the UNCRC allowing children to make formal complaints.
The complaint comes as part of the larger UN Climate Summit, which will see the international community discuss its obligations to the planet – and its children.
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