Meet Ridhima Pandey, the 11-year-old Indian climate activist who is among 16 others who have sued five countries
Pandey was nine years old when she filed a complaint against the Indian government, with the National Green Tribunal.
Germany, France, Brazil, Argentina and Turkey have a lawsuit filed against them in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
These five countries are being sued by 16 young climate activists from all over the world because the activists believe that these countries are causing the most pollution. The futures of the generations to come are being put at risk because of the world leaders in action, according to the petition.
Among these 16 climate activists is an 11-year old activist named Ridhima Pandey.
Ridhima Pandey hails from Uttarakhand and she is no stranger to filing lawsuits against a government of a nation.
She was nine years old when she filed a complaint against the Indian government, in March 2017, with the National Green Tribunal. The tribunal looks into cases that are related to the environment and came into effect, in 2010, with the National Green Tribunal Act.
India is more susceptible to climate change impacts and Pandey sued the government because of its inaction in tackling climate change issues in India, in spite of knowing these facts. Her case stated that the Indian government’s policies and laws were not enough to mitigate climate change and keep to the limits set by the Paris Agreement.
Pandey wants the court to order the government to assess its industrial projects for climate-related issues, prepare a “carbon budget” and create a national climate recovery plan.
In an interview with The Independent in 2017, she said, “My government has failed to take steps to regulate and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which are causing extreme climate conditions. This will impact both me and future generations. My country has huge potential to reduce the use of fossil fuels, and because of the Government’s inaction, I approached the National Green Tribunal.”
In addition to her demands for strong action, she also wants the government to move away from fossil fuels, protect forests, grasslands, soil, mangroves, engage in massive reforestation and improve agricultural and forestry practices.
Her case has been disposed of because the tribunal said that her demands have been covered in the Environment Protection Act, 1986.
The love for environmental activism runs in her blood and she inherited her passion from her father, Dinesh Pandey, who works in an NGO in Uttarakhand. She was spurred into action when she witnessed the 2013 Uttarakhand floods where more than 5,000 people were killed.
Pandey is fighting not just for herself and the climate. She is also fighting for the future generations that are yet to come but will be inheriting the damaged environment.
She said, “I want a better future. I want to save my future. I want to save our future. I want to save the future of all the children and all people of future generations.”
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