Key Developments In Greenhouse Gas (Ghg) Emission Reduction Cases

KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN GREENHOUSE GAS (GHG) EMISSION REDUCTION CASES

INTRODUCTION

Global warming, or climate change, is a phenomenon that occurs naturally, but over time, human activities have tripled the amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs) released into the atmosphere. There have been contemporary intentional legal actions to reduce GHG emissions; these actions signify continuous endeavours to tackle the obstacles presented by greenhouse gas emissions and alleviate their effects on the ecosystem and community to effectively prevent climate change. This article examines several notable developments in climate action for GHG emission reduction. It also acknowledges the effect of these actions on reducing GHG emissions.

KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS REDUCTION CASES:

  1. Vertical Climate Claims:

Vertical Climate Claims refer to actions that concern the relationship between private individuals and the government; they usually address the issue of sufficient climate policy. An eminent case is Urgenda Foundation v. The Netherlands, the first case in the world where a court has ruled that the state should limit greenhouse gas emissions for non-statutory reasons. This case sets a major precedent for vertical claims.

Urgenda Foundation, a Dutch environmental group, sued the Dutch government to require it to do more to prevent global climate change. The court in Hague ordered the Dutch state to limit GHG emissions to 25% below 1990 levels by 2020, finding the government’s existing pledge to reduce emissions by 17% insufficient to meet the state’s fair contribution towards the UN goal of keeping global temperature increases within two degrees Celsius of pre-industrial conditions.[2] The court cited but did not directly invoke Articles 2 (right to life) & 8 (right to private life) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), among other laws, in its ruling. The Dutch government appealed the case, and Urgenda cross-appealed contesting to directly invoke Articles 2 & 8 of the ECHR. In 2018, the Hague Court of Appeal upheld the lower court ruling and directly invoked Articles 2 & 8 of the ECHR. The Dutch government appealed at the Netherlands Supreme Court, and the same was also upheld in 2019.

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Lilian Adat

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Anastasia Edward

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Daniel Anagu

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