Spanish environmentalists have decided to follow the path of NGOs from other countries that have sued their states for failing to comply with their climate commitments, some successfully. Greenpeace, Ecologists in Action and Intermón Oxfam announced this Tuesday the filing of a lawsuit against the Government before the contentious-administrative Supreme Court (TS) in which denounce the breach of the emission reduction commitments derived from the Paris Agreement and the obligation established by the European Union to approve before the end of 2019 a National Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC) and a strategy for total long-term decarbonisation.
Environmentalists argue that the emission reduction forecast by Spain for 2030, 23% compared to 1990 at the most, is “absolutely insufficient” to achieve the objective of limiting the increase in the planet’s temperature to 1.5ºC compared to the time. pre-industrial and claim that the reduction is 55%, “as established by scientific reports.”
The moment chosen, in the midst of the economic crisis of the pandemic, is no accident. The epidemic shows the dire consequences of ignoring the warnings of scientists. At the same time, reconstruction policies are now being designed that will design a sustainable future or slave to the short-term economic recovery needs of polluting sectors such as automobiles.
The three organizations have described the action as “historic”. To avoid a devastating climate change there is only one way: to drastically and rapidly reduce CO2 emissions and accelerate the ecological transition, which requires courageous political and judicial decisions, “said the director of Greenpeace, Mario Rodríguez, during the public presentation of the initiative. Rodríguez has admitted that the current government “is moving in the right direction and it is true that it inherits the inaction and lack of commitment of previous governments, but that does not mean that it is enough. “It lacks ambition,” he added.
The three groups maintain that with the objectives set by the Government to reduce gases “the impact of droughts, an increase in the number of fires, torrential rains and a greater rise in sea level will not be avoided, situations that especially affect Spain and the most vulnerable countries.
Franc Cortada, Intermon Oxfam director, recalled that it does not affect everyone the same since countries that have little responsibility for the problem suffer exponentially its impacts on a day-to-day basis. “The richest 10% of the planet is responsible for 50% of CO2 emissions while more than 50% of the population barely emits 10 percent of the world’s CO2,” he pointed out.
39 countries with demands
A total of 39 environmental organizations from around the world have open lawsuits against their governments for non-compliance with their climate commitments, as explained Lorena Ruiz Huerta, the Greenpeace lawyer who drafted the lawsuit. This type of action has proliferated since the Dutch Supreme Court ruled in December last year that its government should reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 23%. The United States, New Zealand, France and Germany are some of the States facing processes such as the Dutch. Other lawsuits have been directed against multinational companies such as oil companies.
Ruiz Huerta It has admitted that even if the ruling was favorable, the Supreme Court does not have legal instruments to carry it out, but the onegés consider that it would be “a formidable instrument” to increase social and political pressure “to achieve more ambitious measures against climate change.
The Government of Pedro Sánchez has reacted without fuss. “It is normal for citizens to demand more action on climate matters. It is the obligation of governments and it is what we are doing”, declared the vice president for the Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, for whom part of the demand “is based in a little mistake. ” The Energy and Climate Plan has already been presented in Brussels and the climate change bill is under parliamentary processing.
Those responsible for the lawsuit already count on the fact that during its long processing in the Supreme Court what are problems of presentation of plans will be corrected, but they trust that the High Court will appreciate the substantive question regarding the insufficient reduction of emissions to comply with Paris.