On Tuesday, 22 January, Climate Case Ireland’s legal case hearing starts in the national High Court. The legal case, initiated by the Friends of Irish Environment, argues that the Government’s 2017 National Mitigation Plan is in violation of Ireland’s Climate Act 2015, the Constitution and human rights obligations and also falls far short of the Paris Agreement's requirements.
According to a ranking published by CAN Europe in June, Ireland is the second-worst performing EU country for tackling climate change because of their lack of climate action at national and the EU level. The country has also been ranked the worst-performing EU country in the Climate Change Performance Index, published during COP 24 by Germanwatch, the NewClimate Institute and Climate Action Network (CAN).
Regarding the case that will be heard from Tuesday 22 January onwards, Clodagh Daly of the Climate Case Ireland said:
‘The Government is making decisions about our country’s future. Our leaders should have to answer to the increasingly urgent calls from youth to take action on climate change. They are the ones who will be most affected by any further delays and they have the right to be heard.’
Nicole Murray (11), daughter of one of the coordinators of Climate Case Ireland said:
‘I won’t have a vote for another 7 years. But another 7 years of greenhouse gas emissions will be a disaster. Children need their voices to be heard!’
Citizens are increasingly taking legal actions to hold their governments accountable for lacking necessary measures to protect the citizens from disastrous consequences of climate change.
Only last week, the French Climate Case, which was launched a month ago by 4 French NGOs (Notre Affaire à Tous, Oxfam France, Greenpeace France and la Fondation pour la Nature et l’Homme) made history by gathering more than 2 millions signatures from the citizens supporting their claim.
Regarding broad citizen support to the French Case, Marie Toussaint, President of Notre Affaire à Tous said:
“This is a huge signal to the French government: French citizens already feel the consequences of climate change, and they care. People are asking for concrete actions in response of the climate emergency. This is a question of human rights and social justice.”
Regarding increasing number of climate cases initiated by citizens and NGOs, Director of CAN Europe, Wendel Trio said:
“In May 2018, ten families from Europe and outside, together with the Saami youth, took the EU to court for the insufficiency of its 2030 climate target to protect the citizens and their fundamental rights. All these plaintiffs of the People’s Climate Case are already impacted by climate change and those impacts will got worse if we don't take additional measures. In October 2018, in its COP24 resolution, the European Parliament has called to increase the EU’s 2030 climate target from 40% to 55%. This shows us that enhanced climate action is possible if there is a political will. Today, the Member States must take the demand of their citizens seriously and hear their call for more ambitious climate policies.”
Goksen Sahin, CAN Europe Communication Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org, +32 468 45 39 20