Dutch citizens sue their government over failure to act on climate change…and win

One fourth of the Netherlands is below sea level.

Hailed by Dutch press as a landmark legal case,” this lawsuit was the first European example of a group of citizens attempting to hold a government responsible for inefficient climate policies, and the first time that existing human rights laws have been the basis of a case.

Last month, the court agreed with the citizens organization and ruled in their favor.

No court in the world has ever directly ordered a government to cut carbon emissions, and it its believe by many that this could have implications far beyond the Netherlands.

dutch attorney

Dennis van Berkel, an attorney with the Dutch environmental group, Urgenda


An April 2015 story outline the history of the upcoming case: