In 2019, 27 law students from the University of the South Pacific started the initiative to take climate change to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for an Advisory Opinion. The initiative inspired a global youth-led campaign World’s Youth for Climate Justice (WYCJ).
The WYCJ campaign was to clarify the obligations of states to protect the rights of current and future generations from the adverse effects of climate change.
The ICJ Advisory Opinion campaign has grown beyond the Pacific where Pacific youth and partners are working tirelessly to galvanize support both regionally and internationally uniting youth from around the world in this mission.
World’s Youth for Climate Justice believes that an ICJ Advisory Opinion on climate change will not just summarise states’ existing obligations with regards to human rights and climate change, but can also deliver a progressive interpretation of those obligations and make global progress towards intergenerational equity and climate justice.
What do you/your organisation hope to achieve after your success in the Innovation Awards?
“The Award will help raise the visibility of the organisation and allow us to promote our innovation to new audiences to gather more support. We also aim to use the award funds to support the organisation in its transition into a registered organisation to enhance its influence and operational capacity. This will allow us to work on climate justice, and show youth leadership in tackling the challenges of the climate crisis.”
What are the biggest challenges you are facing to nurture and expand your innovation and its impact?
“The success of the innovation lies in the support of UN member states. The barriers and limitations often faced by youth-led organisations in influencing such targets can be challenging but not impossible. We believe through grass-root action we can get a foot in the door to worldleaders, and advance climate justice internationally. As a result of COVID-19, the award will help us pivot more online activities to work towards an international movement.”