January 25, 2021

A court says that the Netherlands must reduce greenhouse gases by 25% by 2020

A court says that the Netherlands must reduce greenhouse gases by 25% by 2020



An appeals court in the Netherlands ratified today that the Government has the obligation to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases, such as CO2, by at least 25% by 2020 compared to 1990 records.

The judges gave the reason to the citizen platform that took the State to the courts, Urgenda, and ratified that the objectives set by the Executive are not enough to combat climate change.

Today's decision confirmed a judgment taken in 2015 by a Dutch court of first instance and dismissed all the arguments of the State's lawyers, who had filed an appeal.

"The obligation to reduce at least 25% (the emission of greenhouse gases) in 2020 is in line with the duty of care and care of the State," said the judge of the court, which described climate change as "a threat real".

The ruling noted that the fact that the Netherlands produces only a small part of the polluting gases globally, one of the Government's arguments, does not justify that sufficient measures are not applied to limit them.

"Any denounced state could then argue that it does not have to take action while other states do not, and that consequence can not be accepted," the ruling says.

Before the ruling in the first instance of 2015, the Executive had targeted a reduction of 17%, but last May and pending the ruling today "the Government said it would try to increase the reduction to 23%," he said. the director of Urgenda, Marjan Minnesma.

For that reason, "you should only increase the calculations by 2% more," added the representative of the platform.

The State may appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court, but if it does not comply by the end of 2020, Urgenda will again denounce the State "and risk a significant fine," said Minnesma.

Dozens of supporters of Urgenda celebrated with applause and shouts of joy the sentence in the courts of the Palace of Justice of The Hague where the ruling was read.

"If politicians do not act against climate change, people have the possibility to go to court, which is extremely important not only for the Netherlands, but also for organizations from other countries that can follow in our footsteps," said the director of Urgenda.

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