More speed in climate protection: activists go to the European Court of Justice

More speed in climate protection
Activists go to the European Court of Justice

Nine climate activists want to go to the Human Rights Court for a stricter climate protection law. According to the complainant, without further measures, the German greenhouse gas budget is in danger of being exhausted by 2030. The young people had previously sued successfully.

With the support of the German Environmental Aid (DUH), nine young people and young adults want to fight for more speed in climate protection in Germany before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). This is intended to contribute to “preserving the freedom and livelihoods of young people and all future generations,” said the DUH in Berlin.

According to environmental aid, it is the same group of young people who successfully sued the Federal Constitutional Court last year with their support. As a result, the federal government had to amend the Climate Protection Act. From the point of view of the plaintiffs and the DUH, however, the revision is insufficient. It is still not enough to comply with the remaining CO2 budget available for Germany and thus the Paris climate protection agreement. A new climate lawsuit brought by young people in Karlsruhe failed at the end of May after a few months without further examination.

In the spring of 2021, the constitutional judges laid down in a sensational decision that climate protection is also a question of intergenerational justice: If politicians act too hesitantly today, this will be at the expense of the freedom of young people, who will then have to restrict themselves even more later. With the second lawsuit, filed in January this year, they wanted to enforce measures such as speed limits and effective rehabilitation of public buildings.

Fridays for Future activist and complainant Linus Steinmetz from Lower Saxony said in support of the lawsuit: “Our greenhouse gas budget in Germany threatens to be exhausted by 2030. Then all CO2 and methane sources should actually be switched off – or a life worth living would no longer be possible.” That is why we are now going to the Human Rights Court.

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