Sentenced to action

I would like to take a moment to cheer for big news from our small coun­try, The Nether­lands. A court ruled today that the gov­ern­ment should do more to reduce green­house gas emis­sions. Of course it is actu­al­ly very sad and frus­trat­ing that this was nec­es­sary. It is 2015, all over the world ecosys­tems are falling apart with dead­ly con­se­quences (e.g. the heat waves in India and Pak­istan) and the polit­i­cal sys­tem can­not man­age to do some­thing about it. In a democ­ra­cy, that means that there must be some­thing wrong with our pri­or­i­ties as vot­ers.

How­ev­er, this case is the begin­ning of a shift. In March this year, legal experts have pre­sent­ed the Oslo Prin­ci­ples. In this doc­u­ment, they set out that gov­ern­ments and busi­ness­es are vio­lat­ing exist­ing laws if they do not do enough to com­bat cli­mate change. This inac­tion has harm­ful con­se­quences for nature as well as the health and safe­ty of mil­lions of peo­ple.

Armed with this infor­ma­tion, the lawyers of Urgen­da have start­ed a case, and won it today. The whole process is close­ly fol­lowed by inter­na­tion­al media, because of course this is only the begin­ning. It could mean the end of inde­ci­sive pol­i­tics and coun­tries that shift respon­si­bil­i­ty around. A lit­tle less con­ver­sa­tion, a lit­tle more action!