STRASBOURG, France  - The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled on Tuesday in favour of a group of elderly Swiss women who had argued that their government's inadequate efforts to combat climate change put them at risk of dying during heatwaves.

The ECtHR ruled that Bern's failure to meet past greenhouse gas reduction targets had violated some of their human rights.

The European court's decision on the case, brought by more than 2,000 women, could have a ripple effect across Europe and beyond, setting a binding precedent for how some courts deal with the rising tide of climate litigation argued on the basis of human rights infringements.

However, the Strasbourg-based court threw out two other similar cases, the first brought by six Portuguese youth against 32 European governments and another by a former French mayor against the French government.

The Swiss verdict, which cannot be appealed, could compel the government to take greater action on reducing emissions, including revising its 2030 emissions reductions targets to get in line with the Paris Agreement goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

(Reporting by Gloria Dickie and Kate Abnett; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Richard Lough)