A 7-year-old girl, Rabab Ali, through her father and pro bono environmental attorney Qazi Ali Athar, and on behalf of all the Pakistani people, has filed a climate change lawsuit against the Federation of Pakistan in the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The Constitution Petition asserts that, through the exploitation and continued promotion of fossil fuels, in particular dirty coal, the Pakistan and Sindh governments have violated the Public Trust Doctrine and the youngest generation's fundamental constitutional rights to life, liberty, property, human dignity, information and equal protection of the law.
"The protection of these inalienable and fundamental rights is essential if we are to have any chance of leaving our children and future generations with a stable climate system and environment capable of sustaining human life," said Qazi Ali Athar, public interest environmental attorney representing his daughter as youth petitioner in the case.
"Pakistan is rich in renewable energy resources such as solar and wind, more than enough to meet the energy needs of current and future generations of Pakistanis. Yet the federal and provincial governments of Pakistan, along with the vested interests in the country and the region, are exploiting Pakistan's most environmentally degrading and carbon intensive fuels—low-grade coal from the Thar Coal Reserves—in violation of the Pakistani people's constitutionally protected fundamental rights."
The case is the latest in a global string of lawsuits geared at forcing governments to do more on climate change. It follows a landmark win in the Netherlands last year, where the government was forced to increase emissions reductions targets.
View April 8, 2016 New Matilda article
View April 6, 2016 EcoWatch article
View June 24, 2015 The Guardian article
View March 30, 2015 The Guardian article