Climate Litigation – Law-Making by Nationals Courts? Prof. Dr. Andreas L. Paulus & Prof. Dr. Marta Torre-Schaub & Dr. Laura Burgers
On 24 March 2021, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) issued an order in the case of the German Federal Climate Change Act. It held that the provisions of the Act governing national climate targets and the annual emission amounts allowed until 2030 were incompatible with fundamental rights in so far as they lack sufficient specifications for further emission reductions from 2031 onwards. Earlier in February 2021, the Paris Administrative Court had ruled that France had fallen short of meeting the targets of the Paris Agreement and was found guilty of failing to meet its commitments to combat global warming. After the prominent Urgenda case from 2019, the The Hague Court of First Instance will render its judgment in a case against the energy company Shell on 26 May 2021, which could have implications for future cases and the role of companies in meeting climate targets.
Have these national developments anything in common? Are there any international legal implications of these national cases?