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Dutch appeals court uphold landmark climate change ruling
Author: Arthur Nelsen, The Guardian, Published on: 9 October 2018
A court in The Hague has upheld a historic legal order on the Dutch government to accelerate carbon emissions cuts, a day after the world’s climate scientists warned that time was running out to avoid dangerous warming.
Appeal court judges ruled that the severity and scope of the climate crisis demanded greenhouse gas reductions of at least 25% by 2020 – measured against 1990 levels – higher than the 17% drop planned by Mark Rutte’s liberal administration.
Judge Tan de Sonnaville rules that “The Dutch government cannot hide behind other countries’ emissions. It has an independent duty to reduce emissions from its own territory.”
Rutte’s administration has pledged to reduce emissions by 49% by 2030, but in nearly three decades, the country has so far only cut its emissions by 13%.
Paul van der Zanden, a spokesman for the Netherlands’ economic affairs and climate ministry said … that a 25% emissions cut by 2020 was “feasible”.
Dennis van Berkel, the legal counsel for Urgenda, which brought the case, told the Guardian that the ruling “has consequences for all governments [from Norway to New Zealand and from the UK to Uganda]. By delaying [climate] actions and not increasing them to the highest possible level – they are violating the rights of their people.”