“Many effects of climate change, such as intensifying extreme weather events, actually threaten fundamental human rights of people within the EU and beyond, especially groups that are already marginalised or more vulnerable” – Romain Didi, Climate Governance and Human Rights Policy Coordinator


In 2023, major flaws were revealed in national energy and climate planning of Member States. CAN Europe’s NECP Awards campaign collected and showcased more than 70 stories that exemplified the good and bad examples. This included the creation of a video aimed at explaining the significance of the NECPs to a broader audience. As one of our key priorities to enhance public participation in the planning process, public participation in 23 countries was assessed, which revealed major flaws in the process. In October 2023, CAN Europe released an NECP Assessment Report, analysing the available draft NECPs. The report gathered data and experience from 21 countries and was published in late December, in time to inform the Commission’s own NECP assessment.

In November CAN Europe brought together prominent voices from Central Eastern Europe including MEPs, businesses, as well as climate and social think tank representatives, for a high-level hybrid event to focus on the co-benefits of climate action. Around 100 participants engaged in discussions at the event on how to build positive narratives in the region to address people’s socio-economic concerns linked to ambitious climate policies.

The impact of climate change on human rights became increasingly visible in 2023, as did the numbers of people seeking to protect these rights in court. CAN Europe has legally supported such demands; one case saw six Portuguese children and young adults taking 32 countries to the European Court of Human Rights for failing to do their part to avert climate catastrophe. We also backed the campaign led by Vanuatu, and civil society from the Pacific region, to take the world’s biggest climate emergency to the world’s highest court. In a groundbreaking move, the UN General Assembly requested the Internal Court of Justice to issue an advisory opinion on climate change. This opinion could be key in holding countries accountable for their failure to address climate change. Finally, CAN Europe legally challenged the European Commission to live up to EU climate ambition by 2030.