Climate law-fare has become an existential threat to Europe’s political elites and might bring down French president Emmanuel Macron.
Damning verdict of ‘first major climate trial’ in French state is an embarrassment to President Emmanuel Macron
A French court has found the state guilty of inaction in fighting climate change in a landmark ruling that environmentalists have dubbed “the case of the century”.
The verdict is an embarrassment for President Emmanuel Macron as it suggests his administration is failing in its stated promise to “make our planet great again”.
In what is seen as “the first major climate trial in France”, judges at the administrative court in Paris ruled on Wednesday that the state had displayed “culpable failure” by not meeting its climate goals.
The case is part of a lawsuit launched two years ago by four NGOs, including Greenpeace France and Oxfam France, following an online petition that gathered 2.3 million signatures – the largest in French history, according to the organisers.
Oxfam France in a Tweet hailed the ruling as a “historic victory for the climate”.
“The state’s climate action has been recognized as ILLEGAL,” it added.
A host of celebrities became involved in the French campaign, including actors Juliette Binoche and Marion Cotillard, who welcomed the court ruling in a video Wednesday, shouting “We won!”
Their plaintiffs’ aim was to “compel the State to take all necessary measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions” to meet the 1.5 degrees Celsius target set by the Paris Agreement, a 2016 pact signed by almost all the world’s countries seeking to limit global warming.