Another constitutional complaint against the climate law

Threatened in freedom rights

According to environmental aid, the young complainants, aged between 13 and 26, were already involved in the previous climate protection proceedings before the Federal Constitutional Court, which led to a groundbreaking decision last spring. The court thus obliged the federal government to make more and, above all, earlier efforts for climate protection.

The legal reasoning behind the new complaint is similar to that in the earlier proceedings: the complainants’ freedom rights are threatened, argues lawyer Remo Klinger, who invokes Article 20a of the Basic Law. “The state is also responsible for protecting the natural basis of life for future generations,” it says. According to the environmental aid (DUH), the new complaint was sent to Karlsruhe on Tuesday.

criticism of the government

Complainants and DUH also criticize the new traffic light government made up of SPD, Greens and FDP. It is your duty to take immediate measures against global warming, demanded DUH Federal Managing Director J├╝rgen Resch. These included speed limits, effective renovation of public buildings and greater protection of carbon-storing ecosystems.

“If this federal government refuses to take such concrete measures, we have to enforce them through legal action,” explained Resch.

Residual CO2-Budget

In the Paris climate protection agreement, Germany and numerous other countries have set themselves the goal of keeping global warming well below two degrees, but if possible limiting it to 1.5 degrees compared to the pre-industrial age. Attorney Klinger writes that the “remaining budget” for climate-damaging gases that is foreseeably still available if the earth is not to heat up any more is finite. The later the federal government acts, the higher the “risk of serious loss of freedom”.

According to the complaint, the tightening of the climate law decided under the previous black-red government was not sufficient either. “That is the main accusation: the reform is still not based on the statements made by science about the remaining CO2-Budget,” said Klinger of the dpa.

New scientific knowledge

After the Federal Constitutional Court called for improvements, the target year for climate neutrality in Germany was brought forward from 2050 to 2045. This means that all greenhouse gases must then be avoided or offset. The emissions target for 2030 was also increased and targets for the period after 2030 were set for the first time.

According to the complaint, this is not sufficient, even in the light of new scientific findings. According to a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published in August,
global warming, resulting in more extreme weather events such as floods and heat.

Within a year

When the Federal Constitutional Court will decide cannot be precisely predicted. There are no fixed deadlines for the duration of procedures. According to the highest German court in Karlsruhe, the procedures for constitutional complaints lasted a year in 80 percent of the cases on average in the years 2011 to 2020.

According to his own statements, lawyer Remo Klinger assumes that the court could decide on the current complaint within a year. (dpa/jk)

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