France’s top court gives government three months to honour climate commitments

Posted: November 19, 2020 by oldbrew in Accountability, climate, government, Legal
Tags: ,


It seems courts in some countries are now in effect regarding as proven something that is not proven, namely that rises in Earth’s meagre 0.04% atmospheric carbon dioxide content will necessarily cause serious problems requiring urgent governmental action – whatever that may be – to ‘tackle’ the situation. Not only is this not proven, but science was arguing against such theories in published papers as far back as 1900, and continues to do so in various quarters today. The upshot is that, in these countries at least, governments have lumbered themselves with the legal duty of trying to reduce Earth’s average temperature, on pain of being found in contempt of court (or some such charge) for not trying hard enough, or at all. Not what President Macron would have had in mind when he strutted the stage at his notorious 2015 Paris climate summit.

– – –
France’s top administrative court has given the government a three-month deadline to show it is taking action to meet its commitments on global warming, reports Yahoo News with AFP.

The Council of State, which rules on disputes over public policies, said that “while France has committed itself to reducing its emissions by 40 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, it has, in recent years, regularly exceeded the ‘carbon budgets’ it had set itself.”

It also noted that President Emmanuel Macron’s government had, in an April decree, at the height of the first wave of Covid-19 infections, deferred much of the reduction effort beyond 2020.

The French government, which brokered the landmark COP21 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, was hauled before the Council of State by Grande-Synthe, a northern coastal town that is particularly exposed to the effects of climate change.

In January 2019, Damien Careme, the mayor of Grande-Synthe, petitioned the Council of State, complaining about what he called the government’s “climate inaction”. Careme said his town of 23,000 people, which is built on land reclaimed from the sea, risked being flooded by rising ocean levels.

The town’s case was backed by the cities of Paris and Grenoble, as well as by several environmental NGOs including Oxfam France and Greenpeace France.

Three months to justify action

Before issuing a final ruling on the matter, the council gave the government three months to justify “how its refusal to take additional measures is compatible with respect to . . . the targets set for 2030.”

Corinne Lepage, a former environment minister and a lawyer for the town of Grande-Synthe, hailed the decision as “historic”. The ruling means that “policies must be more than nice commitments on paper,” she said.

Full report here.

Comments
  1. ivan says:

    Thank goodness I live up in the mountains where they can’t put the wind monsters and the village is firmly against the introduction of smart meters.

    Down on the coastal plain the monsters are springing up like weeds and there is a big push by edf to get smart metres in so they can do controlled load shedding after they pension off some of the reliable nuclear power stations and try to replace them with unreliable wind.

    Maybe I had better go and check over my propane fuelled standby generator.

  2. V.P. Elect Smith says:

    Yay! Hoorah!

    We need somebody to “go there” and show the world just how horrible it is / will be. And who, better than France, to be the really good Bad Example?

  3. pameladragon says:

    How will this edict be enforced and what will the penalties be for failure to comply? Will the courts order the arrest and imprisonment of Macron? Will the same happen to various and sundry bureaucrats? I see this as just more virtue signaling that is not really meant to accomplish anything.

  4. saighdear says:

    You throw the balls / birds in the air as you strut around, they eventually come home to roost: First they shit on everyone else. So when the Wild geese come home take cover / do not be exposed.
    All these thinktanks should be renamed Dream tanks or maybe more appropriately S(c)eptic Tanks.

  5. oldbrew says:

    Green lobby up in arms as France plans to tear up solar subsidy contracts
    Date: 13/11/20 GWPF & Financial Times

    ‘As the perverse opulence of multi-billion renewable energy subsidies become ever more costly, the French government has decided to stop the rot.

    The French government plans retroactive cuts to generous solar subsidies it granted between 2006 and 2010. The green energy industry should expect more retroactive subsidy cuts in coming years. This is the price the green lobby is paying for claiming that renewable energy is now dirt cheap.’

    https://www.thegwpf.com/green-lobby-up-in-arms-as-france-tears-up-solar-subsidy-contracts/
    – – –
    More work for the French courts?

  6. oldbrew says:

    pameladragon says:
    November 19, 2020 at 7:45 pm
    How will this edict be enforced
    – – –
    Maybe the guilty could be disqualified from public office 😎

  7. JB says:

    Consensus passed by a panel of dentureless cronies.

  8. Phoenix44 says:

    Well if you write something into law, its law and even governments have to stick to it. It’s no different from writing a capital allowance for tax into law – the government can’t then tax you as if it didn’t exist. The courts would rule against the government then as well.

    Too many governments appear to have misunderstood how government works in their desire to look virtuous and Green.

  9. Phoenix44 says:

    As to enforcement, that’s a really interesting question. In other cases, the court would order the government to pay because that would be the reason they were in court – pay back wrongly levied tax, pay the supplier, pay for work to be done. If you have made a law that says you will reduce emissions then presumably the court could say you now have to do that, so to comply you would have to ban driving on Tuesdays say, or close airports. Personally I can’t think of better way to make this nonsense unpopular!

  10. oldbrew says:

    It must be a comfort to French leaders that the days of one way trips to the Bastille are over — aren’t they?

  11. BoyfromTottenham says:

    What would the courts say if the greenhouse warming ‘science’ on which the law says their government must act was one day shown to be manifestly false? Would they ignore the new scientific facts and force the government to waste $billions for no purpose (and make fools of themselves), or recognise that the scientific facts on which the law was based have changed and throw the problem back to the lawmakers to fix (e.g. by abolishing the law, making fools of the politicians)? In either case I sincerely hope that I live to see the day!

  12. wilpretty says:

    Boris is big on Climate Change.
    This week he allowed a depression in the North Sea cause a Tidal Surge in the Medway.
    If he does it again I will sue him.

  13. hunterson7 says:

    The billionaires want their reset, and they want it *now*!
    How dare any government, science, or rational concern get in their way?
    How dare they?

  14. Adam Gallon says:

    Government makes a law & suddenly finds that sections of the public wish them to obey the law they’ve made & go to court over it.
    Well, there’s a surprise.
    Looks like even the French are supposed to obey the laws they’ve made, now that is a surprise.

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