US News: Belgium: the Government condemned for its climate policy considered negligent

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Serge de Gheldere, à l'origine de l'action menée par © James Arthur Gekiere, Belga, AFP Serge de Gheldere, at the origin of the action carried out by "Klimaatzaak", David Van Reybrouck and Francesca Vanthielen arrive at the Tribunal March 16, 2021, in Brussels.

The Belgian state was found guilty Thursday of "fault", the Brussels court believes that it did not behave with sufficient caution in its climate policy.

A Belgian court found Thursday 17 June that the authorities had been guilty of "fault" by conducting a negligent climate policy, an unprecedented decision in the country, qualified "historical" by the association. Origin of the trial.

The Belgian Federal State and the three regions of the country (Flanders, Wallonia, Brussels) also targeted in the complaint are convicted.

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"In the pursuit of their climate policy", the four entities "do not behave as normally prudent and diligent authorities, which constitutes a fault" under the Belgian Civil Code, stresses the judgment, a copy of which has been communicated to the press.

In addition, "by refraining from taking all necessary measures to prevent the effects of climate change at the life of the" complainants, they undermine the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), does it continue .

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The Court of First Instance of Brussels, however, did not follow the complainants' request - the Klimaatzaak Association (Climate case in Dutch) - to impose concrete goals of reduction of greenhouse gases, such as at recent trials in the Netherlands and Germany.

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The procedure, launched in 2015 by Klimaatzaak, wanted a Belgian replica of that having Responded to the Netherlands to the Condemnation of the Dutch Government for non-compliance with the targets for reducing emissions set by the Paris Agreement. In The Hague, this judgment has become final in December 2019.

Some 58,000 Belgian citizens were associated with the action brought by Klimaatzaak, and "all have been considered admissible" (legitimate to act, NDLR), which is "unique ", AFP Serge of Gheldere said, President of the Association.

A condemnation "Without financial or legal"

for him, this judgment is "a clear signal" that political decisions "must be taken immediately to ensure effective decarbonization of our economy".

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The Minister of Climate and Environment Zakia Khattabi said "take note" of the judgment rendered in Brussels, belonging to "a law conviction, without financial or legal".

"We supported the enhancement of the European target of our emissions by at least 55% by 2030 and climate neutrality by 2050 and we will activate all the federal levers to achieve these objectives," assured This ecologist minister of the Government of Croo, a coalition associating green, socialists and liberals.

By not imposing objectives, the court refused "the outbidding of the percentages", "it is a fair decision, not a 'diktat' as in the Netherlands," said the Minister of the Flemish region Zuhal Demir.

The trial was held in March. No indication was given Thursday on a possible appeal of the judgment.

Klimaatzaak described the decision of "historic", welcoming that the court pointing the infringement of the articles of the ECHR for the "right to life". The judge recognizes that "it is a human right to be protected against dangerous global warming" and that "States have the obligation to protect this fundamental right that is the right to life", S ' is congratulated the association.

In 2019, Belgium had been one of the most advanced European countries in the mobilization of young climate warming, every Friday, in the wake of the movement launched by the Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg.

with AFP

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