Monday, April 27, 2015

Climate Change in Court: From the Netherlands to the World

The Dutch courts have just been handed a lawsuit that will test litigation in the Netherlands with this question in a manner that has implications for the entire world. The allegation in the lawsuit brought by the Urgenda Foundation and 990 individual Dutch citizens is that the Dutch government has failed to respond to the emergency of anthropogenic climate change and that failure violates the fundamental human rights of not just Dutch citizens, but of the entire world as well.
The Dutch lawsuit is based on the Oslo Principles on Global Climate Change Obligations, a document drafted by an international panel of legal experts from across all the major legal systems. The Oslo principles contend that judges have the power and the duty to entertain litigation of climate change issues even if the international negotiations to that end remain deadlocked.