French court holds state responsible for failure to control climate change

Paris, Feb 3 (AFP/APP): A French court on Wednesday held the state responsible for its failure to take sufficient measures to halt climate change, handing a victory to NGOs in a landmark case backed by over two million citizens.

The administrative court in Paris ruled that the government’s failure to convert its commitments on reducing greenhouse gas emissions into policy made it “responsible… for some of the ecological damage seen.” It ordered the payment of a symbolic one euro in damages to the four NGOs behind the complaint.

The judges said however they would wait two months before deciding whether it was necessary to force President Emmanuel Macron’s government to take steps on greening the economy. Oxfam France in a tweet hailed the ruling as a “historic victory for the climate”. “The state’s climate action has been recognised as ILLEGAL,” it added.

Environment Minister Barbara Pompili did not immediately react to the ruling. Oxfam France, Greenpeace France and two other groups accused the government of failing to keep Macron’s stated 2017 promise to “make our planet great again”.

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