Today, the Luxembourg NGOs -ASTM, Greenpeace, Mouvement Ecologique and natur&ëmwelt- together with Wemove.eu and Climate Action Network Europe, showed their support to the families and young people who are suing the European institutions for their failure to adequately prevent harmful climate impacts by delivering a petition to the plaintiffs of the People’s Climate Case.
In May 2018, families from Portugal, Germany, France, Italy, Romania, Kenya, Fiji together with the Saami Youth Association, Sáminuorra from Sweden, who all are already experiencing the devastating impacts of climate change, took the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union to court for the inadequacy of the EU’s 2030 climate target.
The complaint addressed to the European General Court in Luxembourg asserts that the EU’s existing 2030 climate target to reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030, as compared to 1990 levels, is inadequate with respect to the real need to prevent dangerous climate change and not enough to protect their fundamental rights to life, health, occupation and property.
The plaintiffs are already accompanied by a broad range of NGOs, scientists and citizens who firmly believe that the EU can and must be more ambitious regarding its 2030 climate target.
Today, in order to show this solidarity to the plaintiffs of the People’s Climate Case, Luxembourgish NGOs, together with Wemove.eu and CAN Europe have delivered more than 160 000 signatures gathered through the petition campaign that illustrates the large scale citizens’ support for the case.
In the press conference organised in Luxembourg on the occasion of the delivery of the petition campaign, Martina Holbach, representing the Luxembourgish NGOs, said: “This year’s floods, heat and drought periods that happened in Luxembourg show us that no one is safe from harmful climate impacts. The plaintiffs have initiated this case to ensure a better future for all of us. Today, we stand in solidarity and hope to see them all in Luxembourg for a hearing at the European General Court. ”
Sanna Vannar, president of the Saami Youth Association Sáminourra and one of the plaintiffs of the case said: “ Our culture and future as Saami people are affected by climate change. Reindeer herding, which is now at risk due to impacts of climate change, is an important part of Saami culture. If something happens to our reindeers, then our culture will be under threat, from our daily activities to all our handicrafts and clothes. I am doing what any young person at my age must do: take action to protect my and future generations’ rights .“
Alfredo Sendim, one of the Portuguese plaintiffs of the case said: “ My family lives in the same farm since more than hundred years. Now, I don’t know if I will still be able to live there in 20 years. For me, climate change is not about high level climate diplomacy or negotiations. It is about my future, my family and all the people with whom I share the same concern of uncertainty.”
These families are represented by environmental lawyer Dr. Roda Verheyen, Prof. Gerd Winter and Hugo Leith. Dr. Roda Verheyen, said: "Climate change is already an issue for the courts in many European countries and around the world. The plaintiff families are putting their trust in the European Courts and legal system to protect their fundamental rights of life, health, occupation and property which are under threat of climate change. "
Goksen Sahin, CAN Europe Communications Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org, +32 468 45 39 20
NOTES TO THE EDITOR:
Legal summary of the People’s Climate Case can be found here
All legal documents can be found here
Visuals of the petition delivery are available here