Hague District Court orders Netherlands to limit greenhouse gas emissions

A district court in the Hague has decided a suit brought by the Urgenda Foundation against the State of the Netherlands.  On the basis of human rights norms as well as other laws, the court ordered the Dutch government to lower carbon emissions by 25% of 1990 levels by 2020, far beyond the commitment of the government to lower emissions 17% by that date.  This decision is the first in the world to order the reduction of carbon emissions based on general principles of law, in the absence of a specific statutory mandate to do so.

John Knox

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