When he was a 20-week-old embryo — before he even had a real name — Choi Hee-woo became one of the world's youngest-ever plaintiffs by joining a groundbreaking climate lawsuit against South Korea.

His case, known as "Woodpecker et al. v. South Korea" after Choi's in utero nickname, seeks to prove Seoul's modest climate goals — reducing carbon emissions by 40% of 2018 levels by 2030 — are a violation of their constitutionally guaranteed human rights.

In Asia's first such climate case — a similar youth-led effort recently succeeded in the U.S. state of Montana, another is ongoing at the European Higher Court — the plaintiffs claim South Korea's legally binding climate commitments are insufficient and unmet.