Legal Research and Resources, Publication

Environmental Court Cases: Urgenda II

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.

The State of the Netherlands v Urgenda Foundation (Urgenda II)

The State of the Netherlands appealed a decision of  The Hague District Court which ordered the State to achieve a more ambitious level of reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by the end of 2020. This case was brought by the Urgenda Foundation, a citizen’s platform established to challenge the unambitious goals of the State after it changed it’s goals from a 30% to a 20% reduction. The Supreme Court of the Netherlands agreed with the lower court and ordered the State to adopt a more ambitious target, finding that the government’s failure to take responsibility for the Netherlands’ contribution to the climate crisis is a breach of its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

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