Justice gives three months to the state to demonstrate its climate efforts

the essential
Seized by the coastal town of Grande-Synthe (North) threatened with submersion, the Council of State ruled for the first time Thursday, November 19 in a dispute related to climate change and gave the State three months to reach to its commitments.

The Council of State gave Thursday, November 19 three months to the State to demonstrate that it was taking the measures to achieve its commitments in terms of reducing greenhouse gases.

The highest administrative court, 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, joined by other cities and NGOs who, for their part, have initiated a similar action against the state.

Reduce emissions by 40% by 2030

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% drop in emissions in 2030 compared to their level. 1990. However, the emissions “carbon budgets” adopted in the various State plans have since been exceeded and the State has revised its objectives downwards.

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

A “historic” stop

Corinne Lepage, lawyer for the commune of Grande Synthe, praised “a judgment that seems historic to me”. “The Council of State underlines that the State has obligations not of means but of results. On two occasions, it uses the word ‘effectiveness’, which means that the policies should not be only of nice commitments on paper “.

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, welcomed a “decision historical”. “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.