On September 15, 2020, Greenpeace Spain, Oxfam Intermón, and Ecologistas en Acción filed a motion notifying the Supreme Court of their intention to sue the Spanish Government, alleging failure to take adequate action on climate change. The plaintiffs assert that Spain is in violation of Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2018 on the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action. According to plaintiffs, by December 2019, Spain should have approved a National Energy and Climate Plan with climate goals for 2030 and a Long Term Strategy with goals for 2050; and the draft plan is not consistent with the Paris Agreement and IPCC recommendations to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The complaint seeks an order compelling greater climate action.
On September 30, 2020, the Supreme Court admitted the statement of claim and required the Ministry of the Presidency to present its administrative file within 20 days. After the government presented its file, plaintiffs filed an application for the Court to order an expanded file on the argument that the file the government presented was incomplete. The Court rejected this application, and Plaintiffs appealed.
In the meantime, on November 3, 2020, Spain's Council of Ministers approved a Long Term Decarbonization Strategy for 2050. Then, on November 26, 2020, the State Attorney filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff's claims with regard to the Long Term Strategy, and plaintiffs filed a motion on December 15, 2020 agreeing with the dismissal of that claim but retaining their suit challenging the lack of a 2030 plan.
On December 15, 2020, plaintiffs filed their lawsuit in the Supreme Court, alleging that Spain unlawfully failed to produce a National Energy and Climate Plan with 2030 climate targets, in violation of national law, EU regulations, and their obligations under the Paris Agreement.
The government filed their response on March 2, 2021. Two weeks later, the Supreme Court issued a decision rejecting all of the plaintiffs' witnesses as irrelevant to the trial, and the plaintiffs appealed this decision.
Also in March 2021, the government approved the National Energy and Climate Plan. The defendants then filed a brief requesting dismissal of the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The plaintiffs filed their response on May 26, 2021. In the meantime, the plaintiffs filed an additional case challenging the National Energy and Climate Plan.
On June 14, 2021, the Supreme Court rejected the defendants' motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The Court found that the approval of the National Energy and Climate Plan did not exhaust plaintiffs' claims because their claims were broader than simply seeking the passage of the Plan. Instead, they sought an order that the Plan must be more ambitions to be aligned with the objectives of the Paris Agreement. On June 30, 2021, the government appealed. On July 9, 2021, the plaintiffs responded to the appeal.
On September 14, 2021, the Supreme Court rejected the State's appeal to dismiss the case. The Supreme Court found that the inactivity of the Spanish government can still be observed, since the government has not fully complied with the content of the Paris Agreement.
On March 7, 2022, the Supreme Court issued a ruling (not publicly available) which stated that the case was ready for deliberation. Greenpeace appealed the ruling based on formal considerations. The appeal particularly focused on a request that Greenpeace vs. Spain II be jointly considered and judged, given the close connection between the matters under both of them. On March 31, 2022, the Supreme Court rejected Greenpeace's arguments and confirmed the earlier ruling. The case is pending final decision.
All documents below are in Spanish.
|09/30/2020||Order||Download||Case admitted and Ministry of the Presidency required to submit its administrative file (all documents in Spanish unless otherwise noted)|
|11/06/2020||Not Available||Download||Plaintiff's motion for order for the government to expand its administrative file|
|11/11/2020||Decision||Download||Supreme Court's rejection of plaintiff's motion to expand file|
|11/12/2020||Appeal||Download||Plaintiff's appeal of the file expansion decision|
|11/26/2020||Not Available||Download||State Attorney's motion to dismiss the Long Term Strategy for 2050 claims|
|12/15/2020||Not Available||Download||Plaintiff's motion agreeing to drop 2050 strategy claims|
|12/15/2020||Complaint||Download||No summary available.|
|03/02/2021||Reply||Download||Government's response to the complaint|
|03/15/2021||Decision||Download||Decision rejecting plaintiffs' witnesses|
|03/26/2021||Appeal||Download||Plaintiffs' appeal of decision rejecting witnesses|
|03/31/2021||Not Available||Download||Government's motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction|
|05/26/2021||Not Available||Download||Plaintiffs' response to motion to dismiss|
|06/14/2021||Decision||Download||Decision rejecting motion to dismiss|
|06/30/2021||Appeal||Download||Defendants' appeal of decision rejecting motion to dismiss|
|07/09/2021||Not Available||Download||Plaintiffs' response to the appeal|
|06/14/2021||Decision||Download||Supreme Court's rejection of defendant's appeal.|
|03/31/2022||Decision||Download||Supreme Court's rejection of Greenpeace's appeal.|