The Dutch state is to ask the Supreme Court to review last month’s court of appeal ruling which ordered the government to take more action to tackle climate change.
Economic affairs minister Eric Wiebes said on Friday that he would ask the Supreme Court to examine the legal aspects of the Urgenda court case, to make sure that the appeal court had applied the law correctly in its October verdict.
The appeal court judges ordered the Dutch state to step up efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% of their 1990 levels by 2020. Lawyers for the state had argued that judges should have left the decision to parliament, but the appeal court said the state had a ‘duty of care’ to protect its citizens from the impact of climate change.
The original court ruling, in 2015, marked the first time a court had ruled that a national government was legally bound to follow through on promises made in international climate agreements.
On current prognosis the Netherlands is on course to reduce CO2 emissions by only 23% of 1990 levels. Potential solutions include closing coal-fired power stations sooner or reducing the speed limit to 120 km/h on motorways.