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Mexican court to hear youths' climate change case against government

A Mexican court will later this week hear a case brought on by 15 young people demanding the government of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador set out clear policies on climate change, documents show.

Reuters | Mexico City | Updated: 03-09-2020 05:36 IST | Created: 03-09-2020 05:36 IST
Mexican court to hear youths' climate change case against government

A Mexican court will later this week hear a case brought on by 15 young people demanding the government of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador set out clear policies on climate change, documents show. Lopez Obrador is under increased pressure to help mitigate the effects of climate change.

The plaintiffs from the state Baja California filed a legal stay of proceedings, known locally as amparo, before a district court in administrative matters, several documents related to the case show. In it, the youths, aged 17 to 23, demand clearer regulations and public policies derived from the country's existing General Law on Climate Change and the Mexican constitution, the documents showed.

All of the documents, which have not been made public, were provided by a representative of the plaintiffs. The hearing is scheduled for Sept. 4 and comes just days after the country's environment minister quit.

"There's no bigger mistake than doing nothing based on a belief that one can only do little: However small or simple our actions may seem, they sow what future generations will reap," said Gema Osorio, one of the plaintiffs, aged 20. "My wish is that even if we don't manage to repair the damages, at least we stop continuing to harm the planet," she said on Wednesday.

Mexico's previous government had laid out targets to reduce emissions. Lopez Obrador has not reaffirmed those goals, but highlights projects such as a large-scale tree-planting scheme as evidence of commitment to the environment. The environment ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

National oil company Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, has come under particular pressure from investors looking to reduce the carbon footprint of their investments. Pemex alone was the ninth biggest energy producer of carbon and methane emissions globally between 1965 and 2018, according to data from the Climate Accountability Institute, a non-profit.

With emissions of some 23 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent, the troubled oil company was the largest emitter among its Latin American peers.


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