In 2018, the Supreme Court of Justice of Colombia made a landmark ruling for the future of our planet. A group of youth plaintiffs came together from across Colombia to file a claim against the Colombian government and several corporations operating in Amazonia. Despite national and international law obligations, the government and corporations failed to reduce deforestation in Amazonia and emissions of greenhouse gases. These failures, which perpetuated climate change, threatened the plaintiffs’ rights to a healthy environment, life, health, food and water. In recognizing the adverse impacts of climate change, intergenerational justice and the rights of Amazonia, the Court made five mandatory injunctions against the government and corporations. This episode provides an overview of Future Generations v the Ministry of Environment & Others, including the facts, strategies and outcomes of the case. With the growing wave of climate change litigation around the globe, youth plaintiff Valentina Rozo encourages that: ‘We have to find these role models… these seven year olds who are standing in front of the President and telling him, “you know, I want to live in a world where I can drink water”’.
Many thanks to Dr. Jimena Sierra (Rosario University) and Valentina Rozo (Dejusticia) for their generous contributions to the episode; Dr. Phillip Paiement (Tilburg University), Dr. Melanie Murcott (University of Pretoria) and Dr. Emily Barritt (Kings College) for their research supervision; and Tilburg Law School and the Law Schools Global League.
This episode was produced and narrated by Joseph Orangias (Tilburg University; University of Cape Town), Valentina Gonzalez (University of the Andes), Makumya M’membe (University of Pretoria) and Pawel Guzik (Kings College).
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We acknowledge the following audio clips were used in accordance with Creative Commons licensing: ‘Mind Lotion - Bass 1.wav’ by JoachimSchulz, https://freesound.org/s/430803/ with changes (CC BY-NC 3.0); ‘Mind Lotion - Bass 2.wav’ by JoachimSchulz, https://freesound.org/s/430802/ with changes (CC BY-NC 3.0); ‘Bird in rainforest.wav’ by Reinsamba, https://freesound.org/s/19257/ with changes (CC BY 3.0); ‘VintagePianoPad.wav’ by Vann Westfold https://freesound.org/s/34025/ with changes (CC BY-NC 3.0). Licenses: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/; https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/