2022 Children's rights/best interests Climate activists and human rights defenders Domestic court Mexico Right to a healthy environment Right to health Right to water Standing/admissibility

Youth v. Government of Mexico


On 5 December 2019, the plaintiffs filed for protection against several authorities and acts. Notably, they claimed that the President of the Republic, the Head of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, the Inter-Ministerial Commission on Climate Change, and other authorities had failed to issue regulations and policies regarding climate change which they were required to by national law. The plaintiffs claim that the failure to issue such regulations and policies had violated their constitutionally protected rights. They invoke, among other rights, the right to health protection, the right to a healthy environment, the right to water and the rights of children.

In a decision by the District Court in Administrative Matters in Mexico City, on 20 May 2022, the case was dismissed on the basis that the plaintiffs lacked a legitimate interest, as required to claim the alleged legislative omissions. The court argued that the plaintiffs could not prove a link between themselves and the environmental services of the allegedly violated ecosystem, as required by Mexican law.

The Collegiate Court in Administrative Matters in Mexico City, the appeals court, overruled this decision on 21 September 2022. It stated that the plaintiffs do have a legitimate interest because the legislative omissions affect the entire national territory and the applicants intend to counteract climate change and prevent its effects. Hence, a special link to ecosystems or the environment is not required because, as long as the plaintiffs reside in the national territory, such a link is established.

The case was forwarded to the Supreme Court of Mexico, where it is currently pending, to clarify the issue of the alleged human rights violations.

Stauts of Case:

The Supreme Court decision is pending

Suggested case citation:

Collegiate Court in Administrative Matters of Mexico City, Youth v. Government of Mexico, Judgment of 21 September 2022, R.A. 317/2022.

Case documents:

Date last updated:

29 November 2023

2020 Domestic court Emissions reductions/mitigation Mexico Non-discrimination Right to a healthy environment Right to health

Greenpeace Mexico v. Ministry of Energy and Others

This indirect amparo suit was brought by Greenpeace Mexico against the Mexican government, contesting the Mexican Sectoral Energy Plan for 2020-2024. Greenpeace argued that this policy promotes the use of fossil fuels over sustainable energy sources, thereby violating fundamental rights. The case invokes the pro persona principle and the human and constitutional rights to equality, a healthy environment, the protection of health, and access to renewable energy, as well as the legality principle. It also invokes the principle of progressive interpretation of human rights and the concept of positive and negative obligations.

In 2020, a Mexico City District Court ordered the suspension of the policy in an injunction.

Procedural steps:
The Third District Administrative Court for Mexico City declined to hear the case on grounds of lack of specialization in the matter. On 8 September 2020, the Mexico City District Court accepted to hear the case.

On 21 September 2020, the Mexico City District Court issued an injunction suspending the Sectoral Energy Plan (2020-2024). The court noted the imminence and irreparability of the harms at stake, finding that the it was an ‘indisputable fact’ that the limitation of the production and use of renewable energies encourages the operation of conventional electricity generation technologies using fossil fuels and thereby causing greater emissions, which affects human healthy and the environment. Because of this, the degree of imminence and irreparability of the risk at stake did not require specific proof, because it had been established through logical reasoning (p. 29).

Date of filing:
20 August 2020

Suggested citation:
Mexico City District Court, Greenpeace Mexico v. Ministry of Energy and Others, injunction no. 372/2020, 21 September 2020.

More information:
The full text of the injunction is provided on