Dutch climate activists just won a landmark case that will require their country to cut emissions faster—and similar lawsuits are now before other nations.
By Ben Schiller
If governments won't respond to the threat of climate change on their own, perhaps the legal system will force them into it. That's the possibility raised by a first-of-its-kind verdict in a court case in the Netherlands, which will require the Dutch government to be more aggressive in limiting greenhouse gas emissions. It could be the first of many such cases around the world.
As Co.Exist wrote previously, a group of 900 citizens brought a lawsuit against the Dutch state, arguing that its efforts to slow emissions were insufficient to safeguard their human rights. The lawsuit was based on the scientific consensus that developed countries need to slow their emissions by as much as 40% by 2020 if the world is to stay within relatively safe temperature increases. The Dutch had planned to cut by 14% to 17% relative to 1990 levels. The court has said it needs to cut by at least 25% by that time.
"This makes it crystal clear that climate change is a huge problem that needs to be dealt with much more effectively, and that states can no longer afford inaction," says Marjan Minnesma, leader of Urgenda, the group behind the action. "States are meant to protect their citizens, and if politicians will not do this of their own accord, then the courts are there to help." MORE
Via Fast Company