Commune de Grande-Synthe v. France
Principle law(s): Law no. 2019-1147 on Energy and the climate
Side A: Commune de Grande-Synthe (Government)
Side B: France (Government)
On November 19, 2020, the Conseil d'Etat ruled that the case was admissible and instructed the government to justify, within three months, that it was taking adequate actions towards meeting its own 2030 climate goals. According to press release by the Court, the coastal communities' claims are admissible in part because the city is "particularly exposed to the effects of climate change." The Court also accepted interventions by NGOs and other interested cities. The Court then noted that France committed itself to a 40% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030, compared to 1990 levels, and instructed the government to justify its ability to meet this goal without stricter measures. Although the Court signaled the decision would be driven by French and European law and not the Paris Agreement, the Court reasoned that the Paris Agreement must be considered in the interpretation of national law.
The Council d'Etat issued a decision on July 1, 2021 ordering the government to "take all the measures necessary" by the end of March 2022 to bend the curve of greenhouse gas emissions to meet climate goals, including a 40% reduction by 2030. The Court annulled the government's implicit refusal to take necessary measures, noting that the emissions decreases in 2019 and 2020 were not enough to ensure compliance with the required climate goals, and current climate regulations were insufficient to meet the target. The Council ordered the government to take the necessary measures by March 31, 2022.
Related laws and policies
This law is France's framework document on climate and energy matters. The law notably enshrines into law the objective of carbon neutrality for 2050 and sets a number of quantified objectives for the energy sector. It is an extensive document amending the Energy Code, the Environment Code, the G...