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Youth Climate Justice

Child-friendly justice for the climate justice: Post-paternalism judgements, litigation and participation.

Join the Youth Climate Justice Research Network!

A new initiative dedicated to connecting academics, practitioners, children and youth interested and/or working at the intersection of climate justice and children's rights.

Join us here

Thank you!

We’ve received an extraordinary no. of applications to the Young Advisory Team – 390! Thanks a lot to all applicants! We loved reading your application and we’re so inspired by your dedication to climate action. We hope to stay in touch throughout the project.

Read more about the selection process

The Youth Climate Justice project

Child-friendly justice for the climate crisis: Post-paternalist judgments, litigation and participation.

This 5-year project is a large-scale transnational examination of youth justice in the climate crisis. Our researchers from many different disciplines will examine what youth climate action means for children's rights, and how justice systems can be made more child friendly, to accommodate youth climate action.

The project investigates whether we are experiencing ‘postpaternalism’ in children’s rights, considering we are in an era of child/youth climate action. We use the word postpaternalism to describe grassroots action from children and youth for the first time, on a global scale, rather than well-meaning adults ‘giving’ children and youth their rights. 

We are examining whether we can rethink approaches to the UN CRC with children and youth as leaders, reflecting the disruption of their climate action.  

The opinions and experiences of children will be a key focus of the project. We will analyse case law, interview young climate case litigants, and hold workshops with children doing community environmental work around the world.

The Youth Climate Justice project is hosted by the School of Law and the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) at UCC and is funded by the ERC Consolidator Grant 2022.*

*This research project has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant agreement No. 101088453).


**Photo credit - Ireland's Children and Young People’s Assembly on Biodiversity Loss, by Fabian Boros