justice invited to condemn the State for “faulty failure” in “the Affair of the Century”

The audience was eagerly awaited. Two years after having collected more than 2 million signatures in less than a month (an unprecedented mobilization in France) to denounce the“Climate inaction” State, “the Affair of the Century” had an appointment, Thursday, January 14, in court. The four NGOs at the origin of the petition (Notre affaires à tous, Greenpeace, Oxfam and the Nicolas Hulot Foundation) lodged in March 2019 an appeal before the administrative tribunal of Paris for “Faulty deficiency” of State. Thursday afternoon, their representatives were smiling. And for good reason, the public rapporteur invited the court to recognize this “Faulty deficiency” of the state. The judgment has been reserved but, in a large majority of cases, the court follows the conclusions of its rapporteur.

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The public rapporteur asks “The condemnation of the state” to pay a symbolic euro to the requesting associations for “The moral damage resulting from his culpable failure to not have taken all the necessary measures to respect the path of reduction of greenhouse gases that he himself established” to be able to meet both its national objectives and its international commitments. France is committed to reducing its emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels and to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

However, the country is not at all on the right path. In its annual report, published in July 2020, the High Council for the Climate very harshly judged the government’s policy: “Climate actions are not up to the challenges ors Goals. ” So, greenhouse gas emissions fell only 0.9% between 2018 and 2019, while the pace should be an annual decrease of 1.5%, and 3.2% from 2025 to reach carbon neutrality in 2050. And even these objectives have since been revised downwards by the government, against the advice of the High Council.

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” A revolution “

In its defense, the government rejected the accusations of inaction and put forward its energy-climate law of 2019. “Strengthens climate objectives” by targeting a 40% reduction in fossil fuel consumption by 2030, he assures us. Arguments which did not convince the public rapporteur.

“The rapporteur’s conclusions are the bearers of a revolution because they recognize the responsibility of the State in its inability to keep its commitments in terms of reducing greenhouse gases,” says Clémentine Baldon, lawyer for the Nicolas Hulot Foundation. The public rapporteur invites the court to consider that the trajectory is indeed binding and that all the means have not been implemented to ensure that it is respected ”.

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