France: Climate emergency: “A historic stop”

The State Council gave the State three months to demonstrate that it was taking measures to drastically reduce its production of greenhouse gases.

This is the first time that the Council of State has ruled on a dispute related to climate change.

Manuel Cohen via AFP

The highest French administrative court gave the State three months on Thursday to demonstrate that it was taking the measures to achieve its commitments in terms of reducing greenhouse gases.

The Council of State, which is thus ruling for the first time in a dispute related to climate change, had been seized by the coastal town of Grande-Synthe (north), joined by other cities and NGOs who have started to their side a similar action against the state.

The Council of State noted in particular that the State had committed, to implement the Paris Agreement on the fight against global warming, to achieve a 40% reduction in emissions in 2030 compared to their level. 1990. However, the “carbon budgets” for emissions adopted in the various State plans have since been exceeded and the State has revised its objectives downwards.

“A historic stop”

The administrative judges therefore ask the government to justify the “compatibility with the trajectory of reduction of greenhouse gases” to meet its objective of 2030, the coastal town of Grande-Synthe having estimated that it risked submersion if the State did not keep its commitments.

Corinne Lepage, lawyer for the municipality of Grande Synthe, praised “a judgment that seems historic to me”. “The Council of State emphasizes that the State has obligations not of means but of results. Twice he uses the word ‘effectiveness’, which means that policies should not be just pretty commitments on paper, ”she added.

The grouping of NGOs “The Case of the Century”, which also initiated proceedings against the State for climate inaction, and had joined as an “intervenor” in the proceedings of the northern municipality, also welcomed a ” historic decision ”.

“The State must respect its commitments for the climate (and) will also have to justify the means it implements to achieve these objectives,” he added on Twitter.

(ats / nxp)

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