A "failure of the State" for "The Affair of the Century"?

A "failure of the State" for "The Affair of the Century"?

Violet Field inPlanetJan 15, 2021 2 min read0 views

"There is indeed a fault of the State in not having respected its trajectory" of reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, estimated the public rapporteur

A climate protester on May 24, 2019, in Paris. - Alain JOCARD / AFP

Before the administrative court of Paris, the public rapporteur recognized, this Thursday during the hearing of the "Case of the century", a "failure of the State" in the fight against climate change.

"There is indeed a fault of the State in not having respected its trajectory" of reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, declared the public rapporteur, proposing to the court to recognize the "faulty deficiency" of the State.

"A fault of the State" on the first carbon budget

The magistrate, whose recommendations will not necessarily be followed by the court, relied on the decision of the Council of State last November, which estimated that France, which has committed to reducing its emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to 1990, exceeding the carbon budgets it had set for itself. "For what interests us, the ignorance of the first carbon budget (2015-2018) is enough to note a fault of the State", she insisted.

"The failure of the State to take measures to respect the trajectory it has set itself contributes to the worsening of the damage in progress", she added. On the other hand, it considered that the requesting NGOs - Notre Affaire à tous, Greenpeace France, Nicolas Hulot Foundation, and Oxfam France - had failed to prove that the objectives themselves were insufficient.

A symbolic euro of moral damage

She, therefore, considered that there was no failure of the State in setting the level of objectives, which are part of international and European commitments. As the government has pointed out, she also noted that France only represents a small share of global CO2 emissions.

Believing that the failure of the State "is indeed one of the causes" of the damage for which the NGOs seek compensation, it also proposed to grant a symbolic euro for non-pecuniary damage to three of the applicants, excluding Notre Affaire à all, whose action is too recent. But she rejected the claim for compensation for ecological damage.