A Dutch environmental group, the Urgenda Foundation, and 900 Dutch citizens sued the Dutch government to require it to do more to prevent global climate change. The court in the Hague ordered the Dutch state to limit GHG emissions to 25% below 1990 levels by 2020, finding the government’s existing pledge to reduce emissions 17% insufficient to meet the state’s fair contribution toward the UN goal of keeping global temperature increases within two degrees Celsius of pre-industrial conditions. The court concluded that the state has a duty to take climate change mitigation measures due to the “severity of the consequences of climate change and the great risk of climate change occurring.” In reaching this conclusion, the court cited (without directly applying) Article 21 of the Dutch Constitution; EU emissions reduction targets; principles under the European Convention on Human Rights; the “no harm” principle of international law; the doctrine of hazardous negligence; the principle of fairness, the precautionary principle, and the sustainability principle embodied in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change; and the principle of a high protection level, the precautionary principle, and the prevention principle embodied in the European climate policy. The court did not specify how the government should meet the reduction mandate, but offered several suggestions, including emissions trading or tax measures. This is the first decision by any court in the world ordering states to limit greenhouse gas emissions for reasons other than statutory mandates.
|06/24/2015||Decision||Download||No summary available.|