The emerging global trend of youth taking their governments to court over the climate crisis has now reached Mexico. Lawyers representing a group of 15 young people from the State of Baja California (part of Mexico) announced on Sept. 2, 2020 a new lawsuit against the Mexican federal government urging the country to issue regulations and policies derived from the Mexico’s General Law on Climate Change and the Mexican Constitution.
“Although a General Law on Climate Change was passed in 2012, there are still no regulations or public policies that allow for its proper implementation. Jóvenes v. Gobierno de México seeks the immediate creation and enactment of these mechanisms to ensure swift and proper implementation of the law,” a press release from Our Children’s Trust, which is supporting this and other youth climate lawsuits, explains.
According to Our Children’s Trust, the new lawsuit against Mexico has been admitted on the merits, which is an important initial procedural step. The youth plaintiffs are requesting a court date this week as Mexican courts reopen following closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This case is part of a growing movement of youth-led legal actions to hold national governments accountable for the climate crisis, which will disproportionately impact youth and future generations. In March a group of young people in South Korea sued their government. Other cases are currently pending in Australia, Norway, Germany, Canada, the United States, and before the United Nations’ Committee on the Rights of the Child. With the filing of this case in Mexico, youth-driven climate litigation is now active in all three countries of North America. The Canadian case La Rose v. Her Majesty the Queen is slated for hearings on September 30 and October 1. In the U.S., the Juliana case, which was dismissed in January, awaits a decision on whether the full appeals court will review (en banc) the decision by a three-judge panel to dismiss the suit.
“We are young people who need to raise our voices, both in Mexico and in other countries, because it is clear that our future and that of new generations is threatened,” Nelson G., one of the youth plaintiffs in the new lawsuit against Mexico, said in press release.