The Future is Equal

Case of the Century decision Climate: the next five-year term(s) under judicial supervision

The following is a joint release from Fondation Nicolas Hulot, Greenpeace France, Notre Affaire à Tous, and Oxfam France:

The administrative court of Paris has ruled in favour of the Case of the Century: successive governments will now be obliged to prove themselves and comply strictly with France’s climate commitments. The French State is also ordered to repair the damage to the environment caused by its inaction, by December 31, 2022. This ground-breaking judgement is binding on the current government, but also on the future tenant of the Elysée. This decision marks the start of a new era for France’s climate policies: never again will any President get away with climate inaction without placing the State outside of the law.

Climate justice has forced its way onto the political agenda

For the Case of the Century organisations: “From now on, any President who does not respect France’s climate commitments condemns it twice: first by exposing its population to the increasingly devastating and costly impacts of climate change, and secondly by exposing it to further sentencing by the courts.”

The next five-year presidential term is the last chance, and the forthcoming elections will be decisive. The organisations Notre Affaire à Tous, la Fondation Nicolas Hulot, Greenpeace France and Oxfam France therefore call on all candidates to demonstrate, with figures to back them up, how they intend to extricate the State from illegality and comply with climate objectives. The organisation will evaluate these roadmaps before the presidential election.

To comply with its Climate commitments, the French State should, for instance:

  • Reach 700 000 building renovations per year;
  • Increase the Railway traffic by 20 to 25% compared to 2018;
  • Multiply by 4 the available surface in organic agriculture.

14 months to catch up on the climate delay which has been accumulating for 3 years Between 2015 and 2018, France emitted 15 million tonnes of greenhouse gases in excess of its legislative commitments. An offence which placed the State in a position of unlawfulness and which the country’s leaders are now obliged to put right before the end of next year. 15 million tonnes of greenhouse gases will therefore have to be subtracted from France’s “carbon budget” for 2022. This decision therefore forces the State to double up on the reduction of emissions planned between 2021 and 2022.

For the Case of the Century organisations: “As of today, any divergence from the greenhouse gas reduction plan may be sanctioned by the courts in the case of any further delay. The State now has an obligation of result for the climate. We have the judges who took on board the climate issue to thank for this necessary break with climate policy as it stands today, as well as the unprecedented mobilisation of the 2.3 million people who supported the Case of the Century.”

It is in this context that the Case of the Century staged a demonstration this morning at the Trocadero in Paris, with two messages in giant lettering: “Climate: justice is on our side!” and “Presidential candidates: no climate, no presidential term ( Pas de Climat, pas de mandat)”.