Greta Thunberg and 15 other children file complaint against five countries over climate crisis


In a world’s first, Greta Thunberg and 15 other minors filed a complaint against world leaders.  They announced that they were suing five of the world’s leading climate polluters.   

  • The countries being sued include Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, and Turkey. 
  • They are being sued on the basis that they are violating their rights as children as per a 1989 UN agreement.
  • If they are successful :

1)  the UN would classify the climate crisis as a children’s rights crisis and  

2) the five countries would need to work together with other nations to formulate emissions reduction targets. 


“This is all wrong, I shouldn’t be up here.  I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. You have stolen my dreams, my childhood with your empty words. We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line.” Greta Thunberg 

“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words — and yet, I’m one of the lucky ones,” Greta Thunberg . 

What is the basis of the UN 1989 agreement?

The 1989 UN agreement, called the Convention on the Rights of the Child, is the most-ratified human rights treaty in history. 140 countries have signed the treaty to date. In it, children are guaranteed the right to life, health and peace, among others. China and the U.S. are left out of the complaint, despite being two of the world’s top greenhouse gas emitters. Both countries did not sign the part of the treaty that allows children to pursue justice for violations.

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