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Dutch government loses landmark ruling

24th June 2015

Climate change protest poster

A landmark ruling in the Hague has found the Dutch government guilty of creating an illegal climate policy. The news comes after the first climate change liability suit was brought against the government under human rights and tort law.

Those in lawyer jobs in Britain and across the world would have been watching the case closely, after it was first announced in this previous article that nearly 900 citizens were bringing forward a class action of the government’s failure to reduce carbon emissions sufficiently. Three judges ruled that the government’s plans to reduce emissions by just 14-17 percent compared to 1990 levels were illegal and they would have to instead cut emissions by 25 percent within five years.

The case was brought forward by the Urgenda movement as they stated that the Dutch government “Knowingly contributed” to a breach of the 2C maximum target for global warming, as reported here. Judges also ordered the government to pay all of Urgenda’s costs.

Image Credit: Takver (