‹ Zurück zur Übersicht
Depositphotos | andriano_cz

© Depositphotos | andriano_cz

Will the courts save us?

Climate protection – that’s all of us. For a climate-neutral world, for a climate-neutral Europe and for a climate-neutral Germany, we not only need laws, but each and every one of us is responsible.

We are now eight billion people on earth. Each and every one of us is part of the problem. However, we in the rich industrialised countries are a much bigger problem than the poor people who consume much less energy than we do. An African consumes about one twentieth of the energy of a European.

Germany is already halfway towards climate neutrality. By the end of this decade, we will and should already be emitting two thirds less greenhouse gases than in 1990. By 2040, it should be 88 per cent less and by 2045, 100 per cent. The Federal Constitutional Court first had to urge the grand coalition at the time to achieve this with a forward-looking judgement in 2021. The Fridays for Future campaigners brought the case together with other environmental organisations and won.

In 2021, the red-green-yellow coalition government took office as the “Coalition of the Future”. However, it too will have to improve its climate protection targets through legal tutoring. The Berlin-Brandenburg Higher Regional Court has just ruled that the measures taken so far are not sufficient to achieve the climate targets by 2030 and 2045. The measures taken to date have left a total gap of 200 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

The judges instructed the Federal Government that an additional amount of CO2 would have to be saved by 2030. And they added that more needed to be done in particular to minimise wetland management and rewetting of moors and meadows and to reduce logging in forests. A slap in the face for a government in which the Greens are involved. Lawyers and environmental organisations are right to ask: what use are the best goals if the corresponding implementation measures are ignored?
Speed limit now

This judgement is a well-deserved slap in the face for the Federal Government’s partly bogus climate policy. Next, the traffic light government must decide on a speed limit on German motorways, which would be quick to implement and free of charge, and stop tax incentives for company cars. Every litre of diesel and petrol saved helps in the fight against the climate crisis and dependence on fossil fuel imports. And with a speed limit of 100 km/h on the motorway, 80 km/h outside urban areas and 30 km/h in urban areas, we can easily and quickly avoid over 11 million tonnes of CO2 and 3.7 billion litres of fuel per year – as calculated by Deutsche Umwelthilfe. It is a tragedy that such decisions have to be enforced in court in this country against a Porsche transport minister like Wissing.

Will the courts ultimately save us? At the moment, at least, they are a fundamental aid to climate protection in many countries. Civil society is forcing its government to do more to protect the climate through the courts. After all, 12,000 citizens have supported Deutsche Umwelthilfe in its lawsuit before the Berlin-Brandenburg Higher Regional Court.

Climate justice for future generations? Will the courts decide in future?

With this in mind, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Hamburg made a historic decision in May 2024. This was the first time an international court had dealt with this issue. The proceedings were initiated by a group of small island states that are already up to their necks in water. 70 percent of our planet is covered by water. 90 percent of the heat caused by CO2 emissions has been absorbed by the oceans. The world’s oceans are both the cooling system and the lungs of our planet.

The court is unanimous: The oceans are heating up, acidifying and sea levels are rising. With catastrophic consequences for the people on the small islands and for the marine ecology. All states are therefore obliged to protect the oceans and the climate. Climate rise must be stopped at 1.5 degrees. Other courts around the world will also refer to this ruling. Judges as climate protectors – good news. But politicians must not hide behind the judges now. Otherwise, not only the climate could be damaged, but also liberal democracy with its separation of powers.


Franz Alt 2024 | Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator 

Diese Meldung teilen

‹ Zurück zur Übersicht

Das könnte Sie auch interessieren