Four NGOs launch innovative action claiming state has not met COP21 objectives.
On 17 December 2018, four NGOs filed legal action against the French state. In the legal action, the NGOs argued that the state has not met the short-term climate change objectives set at COP21. The NGOs — Greenpeace France, Oxfam France, the Fondation pour la Nature et l’Homme (FNH), and Notre Affaire à Tous — simultaneously launched an online petition to involve citizens in the action, now nearing an unprecedented two million signatures to date.
In accordance with the French Administrative Justice Code, the procedure for the legal action has two prongs. First, the claimants submitted a preliminary demand (demande préalable) to the Prime Minister and to no less than 12 government members seeking damages for: (i) moral harm, (ii) moral harm suffered by their members, and (iii) ecological prejudice suffered by the environment. (For more information on ecological prejudice, see Latham & Watkins’ blog post “The Notion of ‘Ecological Prejudice’ Now in the French Civil Code”.) If the state does not respond within two months of the preliminary demand, the claimants intend to file an indemnification claim before the Administrative Tribunal of Paris in March 2019. The claimants intend to allege causation between the state’s lack of action and the acceleration of climate change. Continue Reading