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Climate change - litigation against States not that uncommon

A Dutch appeals court in its landmark (and highly progressive) ruling on climate change, made a subtle yet important reference (which many may have overlooked when reading/reporting the decision) to the challenges in reducing GHG emissions from marine and air transportation industries.

Why did the decision receive so much publicity: Basically because it was the first of its kind in the world. It probably also attracted extra attention because the ruling came a day after Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released their report explaining why global warming should not cross 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

The case: The government in State of Netherlands v Urgenda Foundation was told by the court to slash green house gasses by 25% (relative to 1990 levels). This was more ambitious than the 20% target set under EU directive 2003/87. Reliance was placed on Art 2 and 8 of ECHR which protect the right to life, family life, home etc. It was said that climate change threatens these basic rights and government has an obligation to protect them.

English version of the judgment can be accessed here:

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