Brussels (Brussels Morning) The German Federal Constitutional Court ruled on Thursday that the country’s 2019 Climate Protection Act is partially unconstitutional, ruling in favour of a coalition of climate activists that challenged the law, Deutsche Welle reported.
The climate protection law mandated that Germany would have to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50%, compared to the 1990 level, until 2030 at the latest. It also set a price of 25 euro for every metric ton of CO2, promising to raise the price further to 55 euro by 2025.
Climate activists and the Greens party criticised the proposed measures for not going far enough in meeting Germany’s obligations under the 2015 Paris Climate Accord. They also slammed the proposed carbon price as too low.
In its Thursday ruling, the Constitutional Court acknowledged the complainants’ arguments, noting that the law’s regulations “irreversibly postpone high emission reduction burdens until periods after 2030”, without providing enough detail as to how emissions should be reduced after 2031.
“The challenged provisions do violate the freedoms of the complainants, some of whom are still very young”, the Court ruling stated, in noting that the complainants will have to live with the consequences of the Act.
The complainants – represented by nine mostly young people and supported by several environmental organisations – argued that the law does not go far enough in sufficiently reducing emission and limitiing climate change. They maintained that because the law will not limit climate change, it violates their fundamental right to a humane future.
“Virtually every freedom is potentially affected by these future emission-reduction obligations because almost all areas of human life are still associated with the emission of greenhouse gases and are thus threatened by drastic restrictions after 2030”, the Court statement declared.
In its ruling the Court ordered the country’s legislature to draw up amended legislation by the end of next year, which will include clearer reduction targets for greenhouse emissions for the period after 2030.