Environmental Court Cases: Friends of the Irish Environment

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Natural Justice have developed a series of summaries of significant court cases from across the world related to climate change and rights of nature. These are designed for the public, policy makers and practitioners and provide a snapshot of cases that are being brought to courts in order to advance the protection and rights of nature, including seeking ways to hold governments accountable for their international commitments to reducing carbon emissions.

Friends of the Irish Environment CLG v Ireland and Others

The Irish government approved a National Mitigation Plan in 2017. The Climate Change Advisory Council, an independent advisory board established by the Act, reported in 2017 that Ireland will fail to meet its 2020 targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by a substantial margin and that this will have implications for compliance with the 2030 targets. Friends of the Irish Environment sought to revoke the Plan, arguing that it fails to provide for adequate interim emission reduction targets and is, therefore, not only in violation of the Act, but also infringes upon Constitutional rights; as well as rights under the European Convention on Human Rights. This was unsuccessful; the court found the Plan lawful and aligned with international obligations. The applicants are considering an appeal.

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