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Urgenda Foundation v. Netherlands
The Netherlands Supreme Court
Case No. 19/00135 (2019)
In 1992 the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was established to stabilize the amount of greenhouse gas within the atmosphere and mitigate climate change. The UNFCC obligated all signatory states to enact measures to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. In 2019 the Netherlands Supreme Court considered a case filed by Urgenda Foundation (the foundation) (plaintiff), a Dutch environmental group, against the Netherlands (defendant). The foundation claimed that the Netherlands had failed to fulfill its obligation to enact measures to deter climate change, which violated its citizens’ rights to life in Articles 2 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the human rights convention). The Netherlands claimed it was not obligated to take measures against climate change, because climate change was caused by global actions and had global effects. Therefore, the Netherlands claimed climate change was not specific enough to the Netherlands to fall within the scope of the human rights convention. The court considered the case.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Streefkerk, J.)
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