Green group threatens government with court over climate change

A pressure group is threatening to take the Dutch government to court unless it starts acting seriously to prevent climate change, Britain’s Guardian newspaper reports.


‘The Dutch political debate is about headscarves, mortgage tax relief, spending power and pensions instead of the biggest challenge mankind is facing,’ the Urgenda pressure group said in a letter this week.
The group says legal action will follow unless the government signs a statement pledging it will do what it has already promised to do in Kyoto and Cancun: cut the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2020. The government has been given a month to react.
In the letter, Urgenda says the government is doing far too little to promote the transition to alternative, sustainable energy sources. Climate change as a result of CO2 emissions, which are still rising in the Netherlands, will put the country in real danger, Uganda warns.
In addition, the cost of having to protect a country that lies below sea level from the storms and heavier rainfalls will far exceed any efforts to comply with the agreed climate commitments.
Urgenda director Marjan Minnema told the Guardian she hopes other countries will follow her example and sue their governments for non-compliance: ‘We definitely want to give a strong example to other countries. We believe we can take this to the courts and we would like organisations in other countries to look at what we are doing and consider it for themselves.’

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