Hungarian Yearbook of International Law and European Law

Article

Urgenda to Be Followed

Will the Courts Be the Last Resort to Prevent Dangerous Climate Change?

Keywords climate change, Urgenda, Paris Agreement, effort sharing, IPCC
Authors András Huszár
Author's information

382489 András Huszár
András Huszár: PhD student, National University of Public Service, Budapest; founder and director, Green Policy Center.
  • Abstract

      The fight against climate change has reached new battlegrounds. National courts have become the stage where individuals and communities are trying to force Governments or other public and private legal entities to do more. After more than four years of legal battle, the Dutch Supreme Court has settled perhaps one of the most well-known climate cases in literature so far: Urgenda Foundation v. the State of the Netherlands. The essence of the judgment is that the Dutch Government was ordered to comply with the greenhouse gas emission reduction target deemed necessary by the international community. The way in which the Court has arrived at this conclusion in terms of the concrete obligation is questionable. While the ruling is based on various legal bases, the present article examines solely the arguments derived from international climate law and science. To that end it elaborates on the challenges of establishing the substance of a legally binding obligation for individual states concerning mitigation, it analyzes the nature of joint mitigation efforts, it looks at reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change used as evidence in court procedures, and finally, it explores the possible future of climate litigation in light of the legally binding ‘ultimate’ goal of climate policy introduced by the Paris Agreement.

Please sign in to access the article



Did you receive an activation code but no access yet? Please activate your code here.

Forgot your password? Request new password.