the climate “deficiency” of the State highlighted at the hearing

The State committed a “fault” by derogating from its objectives of fight against warming, estimated Thursday the public rapporteur of the administrative court of Paris, to the great joy of the NGOs of the Affair of the century which now hope for a decision ” historical”.

“There is a fault of the State in not having respected its trajectory” of reduction of the emissions of greenhouse gases, assured the public rapporteur, who proposed to the court to recognize the “faulty deficiency” of the State, in what she described as “the first major climate trial in France”.

The magistrate, whose recommendations will not necessarily be followed by the court, relied on the unprecedented decision of the Council of State last November. He stressed that France, which has committed to reducing its emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to 1990, has exceeded the carbon budgets it had set.

On the other hand, the rapporteur considered that the faulty deficiency could not apply to the level of the objectives themselves.

Two years after the launch of L’Affaire du siècle, an extraordinary procedure supported by 2.3 million citizens, the four requesting NGOs – Notre Affaire à tous, Greenpeace France, Nicolas Hulot Foundation and Oxfam France – have nevertheless expressed their ” joy “and their” satisfaction “at the exit of the hearing.

By rendering its decision in the coming weeks, “the tribunal has the opportunity to be part of the history of the twenty-first century”, commented Cécilia Rinaudo, coordinator of Notre Affaire à tous, while climate justice, which is on the rise in power, despite everything remains stammering.

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– “Continue the fight” –

“What has been said is remarkable”, added Cécile Duflot, Executive Director of Oxfam France: “If justice moves, it will be a point of support to continue the fight” for the climate, she insisted. .

Beyond the conclusions of the public rapporteur, climate defenders are encouraged by the decision of the Council of State in November. Seized by the municipality of Grande-Synthe, he gave three months to the State to justify its actions in terms of reducing CO2 emissions.

The Paris administrative court could also not want to respond to some of the requests of the four requesting NGOs, while waiting for the highest French administrative court to decide definitively in this case.

The rapporteur herself suggested suspending the request to urge the state to take additional measures against global warming.

Listing the heatwaves, hurricanes and other extreme weather events suffered by the French, however, she recognized the existence of ecological damage linked to climatic disturbances. And “failure to respect the schedule is not neutral, it involves additional emissions, which aggravate the ecological damage”.

The magistrate however rejected the request for compensation for this ecological damage filed by the NGOs. She only proposed to grant a symbolic euro for moral prejudice to three of them (excluding Notre Affaire à tous, too young association).

– “We are 2.3 million” –

For its part, the government rejects accusations of inaction. In particular, it highlights the energy-climate law of 2019, which “strengthens climate objectives”, aiming for carbon neutrality by 2050 and a 40% reduction in the consumption of fossil fuels by 2030. Without forgetting the part of the recovery plan devoted to ecological transition.

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The NGOs hope that a victory in justice could modify the balance of political forces, at a time when the bill resulting from the proposals of the Citizens’ Convention for the climate, which they consider largely below the stake, is in process. going to be presented to the Council of Ministers.

“If there is a condemnation of the French state, it will be complicated for the government to continue to claim that France is on an exemplary trajectory”, insisted the boss of Greenpeace France Jean-François Julliard.

The government could “adapt” depending on the result of The Affair of the Century, but the elements that could be added to the climate law “do not call into question the balances found”, however, we told Matignon .

As a reminder of the unprecedented support of citizens who signed the online petition, a giant poster was installed Thursday morning on the ground on the banks of the Seine. She proclaims: “We are 2.3 million”.

“This result is also theirs,” commented Me Emmanuel Daoud, one of the lawyers for L’Affaire du siècle. In any case, “there will be a before and an after this trial.”

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