New Perspectives for Climate Justice: District Court of The Hague, 24 June 2015, Urgenda Foundation versus the Netherlands

In: Journal for European Environmental & Planning Law
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  • 1 University of Reunion Island
  • 2 University Paris 13

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The climate mitigation target of the Netherlands violating the State’s duty of care, it has to be elevated to reach at least -25% in 2020 compared to 1990. This ruling of the District Court of the Hague in the case opposing the ngo Urgenda to the Netherlands marks a turning point of climate justice. Although limited in its scope, it contributes to the subjectivization of climate justice actors but also to the objectivization of associated liability, opening the way for a “dialogue of judges” and influence on international negotiations.

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     See the Shell cases, supra note 20, and other more localized actions.

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    In April 2015, some 9 000 co-applicants and the ngo Klimaatzaak have filed a lawsuit before the Court of First Instance of Brussels to force the Belgian government to reduce its ghg emissions by 40%, compared to 1990 levels, by 2020 and by 87.5% by 2050. A decision is expected during 2016 (http://www.klimaatzaak.be/en/). Other actions against Australia, Canada, England, France, Ireland, Italy and Norway are under consideration.

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