German Climate Judgment

On 29 April 2021, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) has ruled that Germany’s current climate legislation violates the country’s constitution because the limited emission reductions planned for the present leave too much of the overall mitigation effort to the next generation, thereby unfairly infringing the rights of younger people. The Court found that ‘fundamental rights are violated by the fact that the emission amounts allowed until 2030 … substantially narrow the remaining options for reducing emissions after 2030, thereby jeopardising practically every type of freedom protected by fundamental rights.’

This judgment is a major vindication of the Oslo Principles on Global Climate Change Obligations

For commentary on the judgment by Jaap Spier, see A Ground-Breaking Judgment in Germany

May 4, 2021