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Belgian state sued over climate policy shortcomings
(EurActiv, 26 Sep 2023) The non-profit group ‘Affaire Climat’ and over 70,000 citizens again called on the courts to impose binding emissions reductions on the Belgian government after the last ruling to reduce greenhouse gas emissions was largely ignored by the state.
In June 2021, the Brussels Court of First Instance condemned the federal government and the three regions for their inadequate climate policies.
After six years of proceedings, the court found that Belgium’s climate policies were largely insufficient and did not respect “the duty of care required of a State and therefore infringe the fundamental rights of the plaintiffs“.
In particular, the plaintiffs called for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions on Belgian territory of at least 42% to 48% by 2025 and at least 55% to 65% by 2030, in each case about the 1990 reference year. In addition, the charity had requested a penalty payment of €1 million for each month of delay in complying with the ruling.
Although the judges ruled in favour of Affaire Climat, the non-profit group has since denounced the lack of action taken by the State. Through this legal action, they wish to force the State and the three Regions to respect their commitments regarding greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction, on pain of penalty payments, reports Le Soir.
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