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French court orders state to fix climate damage

Government must ‘repair ecological damage’ for negated greenhouse gas emissions

Cindi Cook   | 14.10.2021
French court orders state to fix climate damage

PARIS

A ruling by the Paris Administrative Court ordered France on Thursday to fix climate deterioration that occurred in four years of neglect.

The ruling is in response to commitments made by France on goals for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions between 2015 and 2018, according to French newspaper Le Monde.

The state was emitting 62 million extra tons of carbon dioxide in that period, though it since has lowered emissions to 15 million tons.

The state has until Dec. 31, 2022, to clean up its act.

A request that the government pay a €78 million fine per semester for any delays was rejected by the court, who said it was up to the prime minister and the government to find the correct ways to solve the emissions problem.

A request that the government pay a €78 million fine per semester for any delays was rejected by the court, who instead said it was

The massive drop in emissions since 2018 is a result of the coronavirus pandemic with lockdowns seriously reducing the use of fuel and electricity to power everything from cars to buildings to factories, according to the court.

The judge’s instructions were to “take all necessary measures to repair ecological damage and prevent further damage.”

The legal move comes after a petition was put forth in March 2019 by several environmental groups, including Greenpeace, Notre affaires a tous, the Nicolas Hulot Foundation and Oxfam, citing France’s “climate inaction” and “culpable failure.” The petition contained 2.3 million signatures.

In recent hearings, public rapporteur, Amelie Fort-Besnard said: “It is not a question of dictating to the government what its climate policy should be but of telling it that its commitments must be respected. “

A ruling in February first decreed France’s responsibility to fix the ecological damage to the country.

France has the lofty goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, according to Radio France Internationale, with an initial goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030.

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