Excellent news, via CNN:
Pacific Island nation of Vanuatu on Wednesday won a historic vote at the United Nations that calls on the world’s highest court to establish for the first time the obligations countries have to address the climate crisis — and the consequences if they don’t.
Vanuatu has long faced the disproportionate impacts of rising seas and intensifying storms. And in 2021, it launched its call for the UN International Court of Justice to provide an “advisory opinion” on the legal responsibility of governments to fight the climate crisis, arguing that climate change has become a human rights issue for Pacific Islanders.
Although the advisory opinion will be non-binding, it will carry significant weight and authority and could inform climate negotiations as well as future climate lawsuits around the world. It could also strengthen the position of climate-vulnerable countries in international negotiations.
Unfortunately, Vanuatu arrived here because a rare pair of Category 4 cyclones pummeled the country within 48 hours during the first week of March. According to Ralph Regenvanu, Vanuatu’s minister of climate change adaptation, the financial damage caused by the recent twin cyclones will likely amount to more than half of Vanuatu’s GDP.