man and kid walking on downhill
Photo by Yogendra Singh on

All children are entitled to a clean and healthy environment, a UN committee said for the first time on Monday, bolstering young people's arguments for suing authorities over the ravages of climate change.

Issuing a fresh interpretation of an important international rights treaty, the United Nations watchdog determined that it guarantees children the right to a healthy environment.

And this, it said, means countries are obliged to combat things like pollution and climate change.

"States must ensure a clean, healthy and sustainable environment in order to respect, protect and fulfil children's rights," the Committee on the Rights of the Child said.

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