mostlycloudy
Tuesday October 23rd, 2018 4:34AM

Dutch appeals court upholds landmark climate case ruling

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A Dutch appeals court on Tuesday upheld a landmark ruling that ordered the government to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25 percent by 2020 from benchmark 1990 levels.

The Netherlands, known for its historic reliance on windmills and ongoing use of bicycles, already is working to cut emissions, but the court said that the country needs to do more.

"Considering the great dangers that are likely to occur, more ambitious measures have to be taken in the short term to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to protect the life and family life of citizens in the Netherlands," the court said in a statement.

The original June 2015 ruling came in a case brought by the environmental group Urgenda on behalf of 900 Dutch citizens. Similar cases are now underway in several countries around the world.

Cheers and applause rang out around the packed courtroom as Hague Appeals Court Presiding Judge Marie-Anne Tan-de Sonnaville rejected the government's appeal.

The ruling came a day after the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued an urgent report saying that preventing even just an extra single degree of heat in Earth's climate could make a life-or-death difference in the next few decades for multitudes of people and ecosystems.

Marjan Minnesma of Urgenda hailed the Dutch ruling as a significant victory that will boost similar legal initiatives elsewhere in the world.

"We won on every single point. And it was a very good explanation of the urgency of what is necessary and that states in industrial countries should do between a 25-40 percent CO2 reduction," Minnesma said after the ruling.

She said the court "clearly said that climate change is a very urgent problem with enormous risks so the state should do at least the minimum."

Since the original judgment, a new Dutch government has pledged to reduce emissions by 49 percent by 2030, but it has yet to nail down exactly how to reach that target and how to foot the bill. Urgenda argues that the government — and other countries — need to do more sooner than 2030 to prevent serious consequences of climate change.

Minnesma had a few suggestions for lawmakers, such as lowering the maximum speeds on some Dutch highways and shutting down coal-fired power stations.

The government announced earlier this year that it plans to shuttering two of the countries five coal-fired power plants by 2024 and the remaining three by 2030.

Greenpeace urged the government to move faster.

"This statement means that all coal-fired power stations in the Netherlands must be closed more quickly," said Faiza Oulahsen, campaign leader for climate and energy with Greenpeace Netherlands.

The government appealed the original ruling, saying that it effectively meant a court was formulating government policy. But the court rejected that argument, saying that judges must uphold international treaties such as the European human rights convention to which the Netherlands is a party.

In a statement following Tuesday's decision, the government said it would study the ruling "with an eye on possible further appeal," but at the same time pledged to carry out the court's order. It said a recent assessment suggested that the target of a 25 percent reduction of emissions by 2020 "is within reach."

The U.N. panel on climate change said Earth's weather, health and ecosystems would be in better shape if world leaders could somehow limit future human-caused global warming to just 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit (a half degree Celsius) from now, instead of the globally agreed-upon goal of 1.8 degrees F (1 degree C).

To limit warming to the lower temperature goal, the world needs "rapid and far-reaching" changes in energy systems, land use, city and industrial design, transportation and building use, the report said. Annual carbon dioxide pollution levels would have to drop by about half by 2030 and then be near zero by 2050.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Health, AP World News, AP Business, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Utilities, AP Technology News
© Copyright 2018 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Dutch appeals court upholds landmark climate case ruling
A Dutch court has upheld a landmark ruling that ordered Dutch authorities to cut the country's greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25 percent by 2020 from benchmark 1990 levels
4:47AM ( 2 minutes ago )
Kavanaugh to hear first arguments as Supreme Court justice
After bitter battle for confirmation, Brett Kavanaugh to hear his first arguments as a Supreme Court justice
4:23AM ( 27 minutes ago )
Hundreds attend vigil to honor 20 victims of limousine crash
A ceremony for the victims of the upstate New York limousine crash that killed 20 people ended with participants lifting candles above their heads to signal unity and perseverance
4:08AM ( 41 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Asian stocks fall after IMF downgrades economic outlook
Asian stocks retreat as IMF downgrades economic outlook
2:40AM ( 2 hours ago )
IMF downgrades outlook for world economy to 3.7 pct. growth
IMF downgrades outlook for world economy to 3.7 percent growth, citing higher rates and growing trade tensions
2:35AM ( 2 hours ago )
Japanese tycoon going on SpaceX rocket says he trusts Musk
Japanese online retail tycoon planning trip to the noon on SpaceX rocket says he respects and trusts fellow entrepreneur Elon Musk, despite his recent troubles
2:01AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Business
Facebook wants people to invite its cameras into their homes
Facebook wants people to invite its cameras into their homes
4:55PM ( 11 hours ago )
SpaceX satellite launch lights up night sky, social media
When SpaceX launched a rocket carrying an Argentine Earth-observation satellite from California, both the night sky and social media lit up
4:51PM ( 11 hours ago )
Google Plus to close after bug leaks personal information
Google to close main version of Plus social networking service after 6-month delay in disclosing privacy leak
3:10PM ( 13 hours ago )
AP Technology News
Kavanaugh to hear first arguments as Supreme Court justice
After bitter battle for confirmation, Brett Kavanaugh to hear his first arguments as a Supreme Court justice
4:23AM ( 27 minutes ago )
Hundreds attend vigil to honor 20 victims of limousine crash
A ceremony for the victims of the upstate New York limousine crash that killed 20 people ended with participants lifting candles above their heads to signal unity and perseverance
4:08AM ( 41 minutes ago )
Jeff Sessions joins European talks on terrorism, migration
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has joined European security chiefs holding talks in France on fighting terrorism and controlling migration
3:51AM ( 59 minutes ago )
Google poised to unveil new Pixel phones, other services
Google is expected to introduce two new Pixel phones along with other devices designed to increase usage of its advertising-driven services
3:18AM ( 1 hour ago )
LEADING OFF: Red Sox try to bounce Yanks from ALDS
LEADING OFF: Red Sox try to bounce Yanks from ALDS
3:06AM ( 1 hour ago )