Over 60 Children And Infants Have Joined A Legal Battle Against The South Korean Government For Failure To Combat Climate Change, Marking The First Climate-Related Lawsuit In Asia That Includes Kids

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More than 200 individuals have entered a legal battle against the South Korean government, accusing the government of their failure to combat climate change.

Out of all those people, over 60 of them are children and infants. This proceeding is the first climate-related lawsuit in Asia that includes children and infants, as well as one fetus.

In April 2024, four cases from between 2020 and 2023 were combined and presented in front of South Korea’s Constitutional Court. The court held its second and final hearing of the case on May 21. Later this year, a decision will be made.

One of the cases involved a baby boy nicknamed Woodpecker, who was not even born when his parents filed the case on his behalf in 2022. In addition, there were 61 other plaintiffs who were under the age of five.

They argued that the South Korean government has not taken appropriate action to mitigate the effects of climate change.

As a result, they believe that the state is threatening their right to live in a healthy environment, along with other basic rights, such as the right to life, the right to general freedom, the right to pursue happiness, and the right to property.

In 2023, around 60 percent of electricity in South Korea was generated by the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas, but efforts are being made to cut down the numbers.

In 2021, the country vowed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent of 2018 levels by 2030. Still, many people in South Korea have not been satisfied with the government’s response.

“South Korea’s current climate plans are not sufficient to keep the temperature increase within 1.5 degrees Celsius, thus violating the state’s obligation to protect fundamental rights,” the plaintiffs said in a statement.

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