Brussels, 25 June 2019, for immediate release

The report released today by Philip Alston, UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, states that climate change could push more than 120 million more people into poverty by 2030 and undo the last 50 years of global fight against extreme poverty. The report underlines that the poorest and most disadvantaged groups will be hit the worst which will deepen the existing human rights and democracy crisis. 

In reaction to the UN Special Rapporteur’s rapport, Wendel Trio, director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe said: “ The report stressed once again the devastating and unacceptable impacts of climate change on people’s lives, livelihoods and human rights. 

Last year, families and youth affected by climate change took the EU to court for the insufficiency of 2030 climate target to protect their fundamental rights. This UN Report confirms that these families were right in their claim. 

It is unacceptable that the EU is organising an extraordinary summit on 30 June to discuss 4 jobs but still fail to address the climate crisis where millions of people at risk of losing their lives, jobs, homes and livelihoods. The magnitude of climate crisis requires a European Climate Emergency Summit to drastically increase the 2030 climate target and go net zero by 2040. This is the only way to protect Europeans from devastating consequences of climate change.

In the historic People’s Climate Case where 10 families from Europe and outside, together with the Saami Youth Association from Sweden are challenging the EU’s 2030 climate target, the European General Court has recently dismissed their case on procedural grounds.

The European General Court acknowledged that the plaintiffs are affected by climate change but stated that they do not have a right to challenge the EU legislation in court. The families and youth are planning to appeal to the European Court of Justice to ask the higher court to recognize their right to be heard on how their living conditions are worsened due to consequences of climate change.

Goksen Sahin, CAN Europe Communications Coordinator,, +32 468 45 39 20

UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston’s report can be found here