Climate law: court decides on constitutional complaints | Free press

Karlsruhe (dpa) – The Federal Constitutional Court today announced its decision on constitutional complaints against several provisions of the federal climate protection law. The Karlsruhe judges have investigated four complaints.

The initiators are supported by a whole range of environmental organizations, including BUND, Deutsche Umwelthilfe, Fridays for Future and Greenpeace. With the constitutional complaints they want to achieve that the government has to work harder in the fight against climate change. Previous measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit global warming are not sufficient (Ref.: Eg 1 BvR 2656/18).

The Bundestag and Bundesrat approved the federal government’s climate package in late 2019 after federal and state governments reached compromises. The core issue is the Climate Protection Act. For individual areas such as traffic, agriculture or buildings, it indicates how many greenhouse gases they are allowed to emit in which year.

“The purpose of this law is to ensure that national climate protection targets are met and European targets are met,” said the federal Ministry of the Environment. According to the Paris Climate Agreement – which forms the basis of German law – the increase in global average temperature must be limited to well below 2 degrees and, if possible, to 1.5 degrees Celsius, in order to preserve the effects of climate change . as low as possible.

That does not go far enough for climate activists. They demand that the climate package be revised and tightened up. Luisa Neubauer of Fridays for Future told the German news agency shortly before the announcement that what was important in Karlsruhe was “a sign or some kind of support (…) that what the government is doing on climate protection is illegal”. This can have many far-reaching consequences. “People everywhere could start over to think about whether they want to complain, whether they want to participate,” said the 25-year-old.

In any case, the young would continue to fight for more climate protection, Neubauer said. “It only makes a big difference if it is no longer we who have to justify more climate protection. But if the government suddenly finds itself there and has to answer for a lack of climate protection. “

The decision of the Karlsruhe judges will be published on the homepage of the Federal Constitutional Court on Thursday morning. Associations around BUND, Deutsche Umwelthilfe and Greenpeace have already announced a joint press conference. Whether the Fridays for Future activists also plan actions will be seen spontaneously and depending on the outcome, Neubauer said. “When in doubt, we will of course find ways to make ourselves heard.” At best, however, it would be a “big step towards climate justice”.

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