15th Task Force on Access to Justice | Statements of the Environmental Law Team

The Environmental Law Team of YEE actively participated in the 15th Task Force on Access to Justice in Geneva, sharing valuable insights.

The Environmental Law Team of YEE participated in the 15th Task Force on Access to Justice, which took place in Geneva from 4 to 5 April 2023. During the meeting, Emma and Alex delivered their statements, contributing to the exchange of information and best practices regarding the implementation of the Aarhus Convention’s access to justice pillar.

The purpose of the meeting was to facilitate the exchange of information, experiences, and best practices related to the implementation of the Convention’s access to justice pillar. The focus of the meeting was on access to justice in cases concerning climate change and biodiversity protection, with discussions covering current trends, barriers, challenges, good practices, and innovative approaches in these areas.

Aarhus Taskforce statement by YEE

Summary of Emma’s statement regarding the tools to promote Access to Justice

The latest IPCC report emphasizes that climate change will mainly impact children and young people, highlighting the need for long-term considerations and intergenerational equity in environmental legislation. Young people also face challenges in exercising their rights under the Aarhus Convention. The Aarhus Convention is important for environmental democracy, granting the public rights in environmental matters to protect the rights of present and future generations. Strengthening multi-stakeholder dialogue can ensure easier youth access to decision-making processes and hold institutions accountable.

It is extremely urgent to safeguard access to justice in energy-related cases, especially in light of the acceleration the energy transition is going through: its fast pace leaves big gaps and errors, and the Aarhus Convention has a crucial role in filling them.

Summary of Alex’s statement regarding Access to Justice in energy-related cases

Dependency on fossil fuel imports hampers energy independence and is finite, posing a threat to future generations. The Aarhus provisions play a crucial role in ensuring that energy supply in the EU has a positive impact on nature and communities. However, legislative proposals may impede access to justice in energy-related cases, prioritising renewable energy development over environmental protection and community engagement. The Aarhus rights, including access to justice, play a crucial role in promoting renewable energy, environmental protection, and public participation.

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