In the historic climate case, l’Affaire du Siècle, launched by French NGOs in 2018, the Paris Administrative Court has found that the French State is not taking sufficient climate action to tackle the climate crisis. The Court ordered the French government to take additional measures to increase its emissions reductions. Following the landmark decision in the Urgenda case in the Netherlands in 2019 and the Irish Supreme Court’s decision on the national Climate Case in 2020, France becomes the third EU Member State that is judged to fail in protecting citizens from the climate crisis.

Besides these national cases, there is also substantial progress in the Portuguese children’s case in front of the European Court of Human Rights, which is challenging the 27 EU Member States, the UK, Switzerland, Norway, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine and is asking the Court to order “deep emissions cuts” in all these countries. Just recently, the Court granted this case a priority status, based on the “importance and urgency of the issues raised”. Only 15% of the cases in front of the Human Rights Court reach this stage and even less are treated with such urgency.

Director of CAN Europe, Wendel Trio said: “Climate litigation is forcing European countries to act upon what they committed under the Paris Agreement in 2015, which is to increase climate ambition and define policies and measures in line with the 1.5°C objective. These cases take time but they force governments to increase climate action through a Court order.

The next decade is crucial to define whether our collective efforts will be enough to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C and we thus have no time to lose. This year, the EU must work towards a socially and economically acceptable, Paris – proof climate policy architecture in order to implement the highest possible ambition and protect citizens from the worsening impacts of climate change.”

ENDS

Contact:
Goksen Sahin, Communications Coordinator, goksen@caneurope.org, +32 468 45 39 20