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Two million citizens sue the French Government for its lack of action against climate change

Two million citizens are ready to take French government into court for its lack of action to fight against climate change!

On December 18th, the French NGO Notre Affaire A Tous (Everyone’s Case) announced that with the support of three other NGOs and foundations, such as Greenpeace, Oxfam, and FNH, they are suing the French government for not complying with the Paris Agreement and its other climate commitments for over 4 decades.

Case of the Century” calls French citizens to sign an online petition in order to force the French government to take concrete climate action. In less than a month, the petition got signed by more than two million signatures, becoming the most signed petition ever in France. Facing the increasing consequences of states’ and governments' inability to take the right decisions at the right time to protect people from climate change, especially especially young citizens are now taking the lead to force big players into an action. 

This climate petition is the sign that climate change is one of the main citizens’ concern all over Europe! On the same day as the petition reached two million signatures, over 3000 high school students were on a spontaneous Climate Strike in Brussels, demanding action to tackle climate change. We are protesting and occupying streets for climate action as long as it takes for states and big corporations to understand their responsibilities in climate change, says Katri Ylinen, Co-Spokesperson of the Federation of Young European Greens.

All over Europe the climate movement is led by young people, and the Case of the Century is not an exception. Several former and current French Young Greens and Young Green candidates for  European Parliament are successfully gathering popular support for the petition.

Climate inaction is fundamentally illegal and the state doesn't have the privilege to not listen to its citizens! Within global climate movement the voices of young people, and especially young women are extremely central. These are the voices saying that the pretty speeches must now turn into an action. We are ready to use all the levels of action to commit the states and polluters to their responsibilities, states Marie Pochon, former Co-Spokesperson of FYEG, who is engaged with Notre Affaire A Tous, the NGO behind the petition.

Climate litigation (a method to sue a government for its lack of action against climate change) is becoming a very important tool to force governments into climate action on a global level. In October 2018, the Dutch Court of Appeal confirmed the condemnation of the Dutch government, forcing it to adopt more ambitious and effective measures to fight climate change. Complaints have been filed against several governments from Belgium to Canada and as well as to the level of European Union by civil society.

Sources: Database of climate litigation