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One of Europe’s top courts ruled on Tuesday that Switzerland violated its citizens’ human rights by failing to adequately address climate change, a landmark verdict that applies throughout the continent and could create a precedent for climate litigation, CNN reported.

Over 2,000 Swiss women from the age of 64 took their country to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg, France, arguing that by doing too little to prevent the rise of temperatures induced by global warming, the Swiss government was endangering their health and violating their right to life.

The court sided with the KlimaSeniorinnen (Senior Women for Climate Protection) and said the women were entitled to protection from “the serious adverse effects of climate change on lives, health, well-being and quality of life.”

Temperatures in Europe are rising much faster than anywhere else in the world, Axios explained, exposing seniors – and women much more than men – to higher risks of dying from heat-related illnesses.

The ruling is legally binding and no appeal is possible.

As a result, Switzerland may have to speed up its phasing out of fossil fuels, the single most significant cause of human-made climate change, Axios wrote. The Swiss government, meanwhile, said it would study the ruling and decide on a course of action.

Meanwhile, the verdict echoes well beyond the Alpine nation because the court has jurisdiction over 46 countries, from the United Kingdom to Turkey.

“It means that all European countries must urgently revise their targets so that they are science-based and aligned to 1.5 degrees,” said Gerry Liston, a lawyer at Global Legal Action Network told CNN.

Liston’s organization supported plaintiffs in another environmental case that was dismissed on Tuesday, one brought by a group of Portuguese youth, suing over 30 European states for failing to protect them against climate change. The court said it was “inadmissible” because it said the claimants had not tried all legal solutions in Portugal first and that their claims could hardly be extended outside their country.

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