Constitutional Court: Climate lawsuits in the countries with no chance of success

issue of intergenerational equity

One of the complainants was the Neuruppin student Emma Kiehm, who works for Fridays for Future. The Brandenburg Environment Ministry is currently developing a climate plan with measures for the state and municipalities.

The new lawsuits were motivated by the sensational Karlsruhe climate resolution from spring 2021. At that time, the First Senate had stipulated that climate protection is also a question of intergenerational justice – if politicians are too hesitant to achieve their climate goals today, this is at the expense of freedom young people who later have to limit themselves all the more. The federal government then had to improve its climate protection law.

There are no specifications at the state level

In the Paris climate protection agreement, Germany and numerous other countries have set themselves the goal of keeping global warming well below 2 degrees, but if possible limiting it to 1.5 degrees compared to the pre-industrial age. From this, certain amounts of greenhouse gases can be derived that may still be emitted.

According to the new decision from Karlsruhe, such requirements are currently not recognizable at state level. However, this is a prerequisite for a constitutional complaint.

German environmental aid welcomes clarification

The German Environmental Aid (DUH) welcomed the “clarifying information”. The court emphasized that the federal government’s climate protection goals could not be achieved without implementing measures and their own legislation in the federal states. The DUH called on the federal government to “determine transparently as soon as possible what contributions the federal states have to make to comply with the Paris Agreement”.

Children and young people from Baden-W├╝rttemberg, Bavaria, Brandenburg, Hesse, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Saarland, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt had complained. The eleventh constitutional complaint, which also related to the NRW law, was filed by an individual on his own initiative.

Concrete measures are to be sued

Just last week, the DUH presented a new constitutional complaint by young plaintiffs, which aims to further tighten German climate protection policy. (The ZfK had reported.)

The reasoning was that the amendments to the federal law were not sufficient. Therefore, concrete measures such as speed limits, effective renovation of public buildings and greater protection of carbon-storing ecosystems are now to be sued. (dpa/jk)

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