The People Taking Governments To Court Over Climate Change

Climate change and lowland flooding

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The Netherlands Has Been Ordered To Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The Netherlands is noted for its low lying lands which are very vulnerable if climate change causes ocean levels to rise.

A citizens group took the government to court over its inaction on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the court has ordered the Dutch government to reduce emissions by at least 25% by 2020.

They argued the government had a legal obligation to protect its citizens from the dangers of climate change.

Jasper Teulings from Greenpeace called it a “landmark case”.

“It shifts the whole debate. Other cases are being brought in Belgium, the Philippines. This is the start of a wave of climate litigation.”

Analysis: Anna Holligan, BBC News, The Hague

The judgment was unprecedented in Europe, and unexpected. It pushes the Dutch government to honour its commitment to cut emissions.

In terms of the practical implementation, the government has already agreed to close coal plants, increase the use of windmills and solar energy and drastically reduce gas extractions in the north of the country.

The court case puts pressure on the government to speed up the process in order to meet the targets and become more energy efficient within the next five years.

The judgment is legally binding, and based on “Tort Law” – a general and universal concept which essentially refers to a duty to refrain from causing harm.

More details can be found in the original article.

Image is from the original article.


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