U.N. passes pioneering resolution on national governments’ role in climate action

U.N. passes pioneering resolution on national governments’ role in climate action

In 2019, youth activists from Pacific Islands nations formed Pacific Islands Students Fighting Climate Change. Their top goal was to elicit an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice, also known as the World Court, on the role of national governments in combating climate change. They hoped such an opinion would prove a pivotal boon to climate litigation around the world.

Those youth activists have now secured a major victory. The United Nations has just passed a resolution formally requesting such an opinion from the court. The U.N. resolution was put forth by Vanuatu, one of the many Pacific Islands nations disproportionately at-risk from the accelerating impacts of the climate crisis, and was backed by more than 120 nations worldwide.

The U.N. resolution certainly does not ensure a positive response from the court. And even a favorable opinion from the court would not ensure victories for climate litigation.

However, at worst, the U.N. resolution is a major sign of international solidarity on the urgent need for climate action. And a favorable advisory opinion from the world’s highest court would be an even greater show of consensus.

At best, a strong advisory opinion might be the tipping point needed to finally rein in the world’s most egregious climate polluters and get us back on course to a sustainable global civilization in harmony with Earth.

Ecuador court upholds ‘rights of nature,’ blocks Intag Valley copper mine

A provincial court recognized that the mining companies violated the communities’ constitutional right to consultation and the rights of nature guaranteed by Ecuador’s Constitution since 2008.

Kenya to expand use of ground-breaking malaria vaccine to more than 130,000 infants free of charge

The malaria vaccine – known as Mosquirix or RTS,s/AS01 – has seen a phased introduction in the country since a 2019 pilot program. This recent announcement represents a major step forward in the vaccine’s rollout.

Leading lawyers in England sign declaration to not prosecute peaceful climate protestors

More than 120 top attorneys have signed a declaration to “withhold services in respect of supporting new fossil fuel projects and action against climate protesters exercising their right to peaceful protest.”

Oregon is gearing up for the first legal U.S. psilocybin journeys outside of medical trials later this year: The state just licensed its first legal growers and facilitators, who graduated from approved training programs.

Boston expands tuition-free community college program to all residents

Starting this fall, any city resident will be eligible to pursue an associate’s degree or certificate at one of six partnering local institutions without paying to attend.

Switzerland to install solar panels between railway tracks in world first

With the Swiss national railway network stretching beyond 2,000 miles of track, estimates place the amount of power generation at potentially beyond 1 terawatt hour or 2% of the entire gross annual consumption.

The Philippines’ first electric light trucks officially go on sale

Foton Motor in China has been actively promoting its electric vehicle lineup in international markets. Its goal is to increase its annual sales of new energy vehicles to 200,000 units by 2025.

California to require half of all heavy trucks sales to be electric by 2035

The Environmental Protection Agency is granting California the legal authority to require that half of all heavy-duty truck sales in the state be fully electric by 2035, an ambitious standard that will go beyond federal requirements.

New Mexico governor signs bill ending juvenile life sentences without parole

Under SB64, the No Life Sentences for Juveniles Act, offenders who committed crimes when they were younger than 18 and received life sentences will be eligible for parole hearings 15 to 25 years into their sentences.

The first session of the UN General Assembly convenes (1946 C.E.)

The United Nations General Assembly is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations (UN), serving as the main deliberative, policymaking, and representative organ of the UN and the international community.

The International Court of Justice issues advisory opinion catalyzing climate action from national governments around the world (2025 C.E. ???)

After years of campaigning, activists from the Pacific Islands and beyond secured an advisory opinion from the world’s top court integrating climate and human rights law, providing a baseline for state climate action, and guiding climate adjudications around the world.

These milestones – past, present & future – have been added to:

Archive of Human Genius

Our directory of purpose-driven organizations, leaders & resources:

Teal Pages

Updates & Reflections

There are two common paths that people take:

First, there are those that do whatever they think they are supposed to do to please their parents, society, or whoever. They often spend their lives toiling away at something that they don’t really love out of a sense of obligation or service.

Second, there are those that follow their bliss. They find whatever they are most passionate about and they spend their lives just doing that. To hell with what others want from them. To hell with service.

But there’s a third path: The path of purpose. To me, the path of purpose is, yes, about finding your passions, what most brings you alive, as well as about finding your talents, those roles and skills at which you just naturally thrive. But it’s also about offerings those passions and talents as a gift to the world, as an act of service to the greater good.

In doing so, you fill your own cup, but you also fill the cups of those around you. You serve both yourself and the world. That’s purpose.

What path are you on?

Peter Schulte

Purpose & Impact Coach

Founder & Executive Director, Spark of Genius

Bellingham, WA USA / Lummi & Nooksack lands


More of Peter’s story

Change 101

Lessons, exercises, and resources on purpose, leadership, social change, and personal transformation

Humanity Is Beautiful

Excerpts from the living draft of Peter’s upcoming book Humanity Is Beautiful: A New Story For A World On Fire.

Emerging Leaders Scholarship Fund

Help support aspiring change leaders with a compelling vision for change but limited means

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *