This amparo case was filed before the Superior Court of Justice of Lima, Peru, on 16 December 2019. Brought by a group of young Peruvians, it alleges that the government has not taken adequate measures halt deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, a major carbon sink, and to take adequate mitigation and adaptation measures in the face of climate change. They submit that this particularly harms the rights of young people, whose futures are in jeopardy because of climate change.
Before the court, they invoke the constitutional and human right to a healthy environment, drawing in particular on the Peruvian Constitution, the ICESCR, and the Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights (also known as the “Protocol of San Salvador”). They also invoke their right to human dignity (Art. 1 of the Peruvian Constitution) and their right to life (Art. 2.1 of the Peruvian Constitution), along with — among others — the right to health and to water. They also invoke the preventive and precautionary principles and draw on constitutional principles concerning the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of natural resources, the social function of law, the best interests of the child, solidarity and intergenerational equity.
The claimants submit that public policies on environmental protection are insufficient “to mitigate a problem that, according to scientific evidence, is worsening and threatens the very survival of the human species on the planet. This scenario is even more acute for the claimants – minors, born between 2005 and 2011 – whose future is severely compromised as a result of the current climate and ecological crisis. The conditions for their well-being and that of their descendants for decades to come depend, to a large extent, on the actions taken today. Tomorrow will be too late. In Peru – a megadiverse country that is vulnerable to climate change – the problem is particularly pressing. The plaintiffs, therefore, have suffered a violation of their fundamental right to enjoy a healthy environment, as well as threats to their fundamental rights to life, to a “life project” (“proyeto de vida”), to water and to health” (translation from the original Spanish by climaterightsdatabase.com)
- The complaint (in Spanish) has been made public by climatecasechart.com.
- For an interview with one of the applicants in this case, see here.
Superior Court of Justice of Lima, Álvarez et al. v. Peru, constitutional complaint submitted on 16 December 2019.
17 March 2023