Climate law-fare has become an existential threat to Europe’s political elites and might bring down French president Macron

Damning verdict of ‘first major climate trial’ in French state is an embarrassment to President Emmanuel Macron

A French court has found the state guilty of inaction in fighting climate change in a landmark ruling that environmentalists have dubbed “the case of the century”.

The verdict is an embarrassment for President Emmanuel Macron as it suggests his administration is failing in its stated promise to “make our planet great again”.

In what is seen as “the first major climate trial in France”, judges at the administrative court in Paris ruled on Wednesday that the state had displayed “culpable failure” by not meeting its climate goals.

The case is part of a lawsuit launched two years ago by four NGOs, including Greenpeace France and Oxfam France, following an online petition that gathered 2.3 million signatures – the largest in French history, according to the organisers.

Oxfam France in a Tweet hailed the ruling as a “historic victory for the climate”.

“The state’s climate action has been recognized as ILLEGAL,” it added.

A host of celebrities became involved in the French campaign, including actors Juliette Binoche and Marion Cotillard, who welcomed the court ruling in a video Wednesday, shouting “We won!”

Their plaintiffs’ aim was to “compel the State to take all necessary measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions” to meet the 1.5 degrees Celsius target set by the Paris Agreement, a 2016 pact signed by almost all the world’s countries seeking to limit global warming

France has committed to reducing emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels and to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

The court ordered the state to pay a symbolic €1 to the NGOs behind the lawsuit for “moral prejudice” due to “culpable failure to respect its commitments in the fight against climate change”.

Experts say France is not on the right trajectory to meet its goals. In its annual report last July, the country’s higher climate council slammed the government’s climate policies, saying: “Acts in favour of the climate are not up to the mark given the challenges and aims.”

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The post France found guilty of failing to address climate change appeared first on The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF).

via The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

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February 3, 2021 at 11:30AM