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Climate protection: How processes mess up climate policy


Around the world, courts are forcing states and corporations to do more climate protection in pioneering rulings. Is there now a wave of climate action? And what would the consequences be?

Activists and scientists have criticized in recent years that it is possible to speed up climate protection.

There are majorities in the population, it is technically feasible and, if you do it right, even good business.

The federal government just has to want it.

Little has happened for a long time.

Now politicians want to do it all at once - because they have to.

At the end of April, the Federal Constitutional Court declared the federal government's climate policy to be partly unconstitutional.

The verdict was a "historical decision", marked a "new chapter," and there was even talk of a "turning point".

Around a month later, district judges in The Hague obliged one of the world's largest oil companies to do more climate protection.

The court found that Shell is responsible for CO₂ emissions from its own oil production.

It must therefore reduce emissions by 45 percent net by 2030, based on the status of 2019.

What do these judgments mean for combating the climate crisis in the years to come?

Will or should courts play a more central role and if so, what does that do with the decision-making authority of politics?

Inspired by their success, are activists now increasingly going to court instead of taking to the streets?

We discuss these questions in the first episode of »Klimabericht«, the new weekly SPIEGEL podcast on the climate crisis, which will appear on Tuesdays from now on, on and wherever there are podcasts.

In the program we have Linus Steinmetz from Fridays for Future as guests, who together with others brought the lawsuit before the Constitutional Court, as well as Susanne Götze, editor in the science department.

Both judgments could be the prelude to a wave of lawsuits worldwide, says Susanne Götze.

"There are now climate NGOs that specialize completely in these lawsuits and entire lawyers' associations that only deal with climate lawsuits."


Then you will now hear our »Climate Report«.

Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2021-06-18

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