In 2020, young people went to Germany’s Constitutional Court to argue the country’s Federal Climate Protection Act (“Bundesklimaschutzgesetz” or “KSG”) was insufficient and therefore violated their constitutional rights.
The Climate Change Litigation database is a joint project of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School and Arnold & Porter, a large multinational law firm. The following comes from their reporting:
Litigants’ claimed the right to a future consistent with human dignity as enshrined by law. They argued the political process had to protect foundations for life of future generations and the KSG allowed for climate impacts that violated those fundamental rights.
Three other groups of claimants filed simultaneous constitutional complaints targeting the government’s climate protection measures.
On April 29, 2021, the Federal Constitutional Court published its decision striking down parts of the KSG. The Court stated that greenhouse gas reduction burdens should not be offloaded onto the future. The Court wrote:
One generation must not be allowed to consume large portions of the CO2 budget while bearing a relatively minor share of the reduction effort, if this would involve leaving subsequent generations with a drastic reduction burden and expose their lives to serious losses of freedom.
The German high court said emission reduction targets should not have been postponed for years and it found legislation lacked detail about how reductions would happen.
Nature Climate Change editorial, August 2, 2022:
Each year weather records are being broken around the globe; this boreal summer has seen heat records fall across Europe, America and Central Asia. These discernible effects of climate change cannot be ignored, as combined with global issues they endanger society and well-being.
Extended periods of hot weather put stress on societies and increases mortality risk. …data covering 43 countries and the period 1991–2018 showed that 37% of heat-related deaths in the warm seasons could be attributed to climate change…
The immediate impact on human health from heat abates as weather systems pass, but these events as well as higher ambient temperatures have far-reaching consequences. Higher temperatures, in the short and long term, are raising concerns for water and food security…
We have said it many times before but time is running out, there needs to be action and committed focus on addressing climate change as the new normal keeps shifting and we cannot adapt to keep pace.
Categories: Climate Change