What Is a Climate Plan INDC?
Visit GreenPolicy360's "Climate Plans Enforcement"
- "Turning National Climate Pledges & Promises into Reality"
GreenPolicy2021 initiative for Legally Enforcing National Climate Plans
- "Climate Plans Enforcement" (2021-2023)
- "Turning National Climate Pledges & Promises into Reality"
Pressuring Nations to Step Up, Cooperate, and Act Now
- Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) Tracking
- Measuring and Monitoring Climate Plans & Climate Actions
- 'Talking the Talk and Walking the Walk'
Now is the time to go beyond "intended" climate plans actions. Intended NDCs and now the newly submitted NDCs must become measurable and powerful reality.
GreenPolicy360 is aimed at 'turning promises into reality' with our Climate Plans Enforcement project. We ask how best can governments and business, communities and all of us act to accelerate national climate action promises that came out of the international Summits in Paris (2015) and Glasgow (2021). How can we gain momentum and speed to scale up climate solutions to deal with the great challenge of our times... We believe identifying and sharing 'green best practices', those climate solutions that work best, and can be multiplied across communities and nations with their multiple governance systems, is one of the most practical ways to get to work making a positive difference.
Climate plans enforcement, laws and rules, engineering and smart design, measuring and monitoring emissions and dealing with 'hot spots' all have a place today, right now, in the tool kits of the nations of the world.
GreenPolicy360: The INDC as 'intended' national climate action plans submitted in 2015 at the global climate summit in Paris formed a basis of cooperative international action. The intentions of countries are one thing, action is another. Words must produce results. The intended national determined contributions (INDCs) will become NDCs at the global summit in Glasgow, yet NDCs need to be enforced. It is time for legal actions, and online sharing of successful legal practices.... We call this type of multiplier based on models and templates that are open access and 'shareable' an extension of our multi-decade focus on #GreenBestPractices, where we act to turn ripples of action into waves of results.
Let's follow some of the legal enforcement waves...
Climate News from the Frontlines
The Wave: Climate Litigation and Climate Justice
by Isabella Kaminski
'The Wave is a newsletter about climate litigation and climate justice. It covers lawsuits that seek to further climate action or delay it around the world, profiles the people who bring them, analyses litigation trends, and examines their impacts and limitations.
(Supported by the Foundation for International Law for the Environment)
2023 will be a watershed year for climate litigation
Over the past twelve months, courts from Indonesia to Australia have made ground-breaking rulings that blocked polluting power plants and denounced the human rights violations of the climate crisis. But this year could be even more important, with hearings and judgments across the world poised to throw light on the worst perpetrators, give victims a voice and force recalcitrant governments and companies into action...
(Upcoming legal cases/lawsuits and actions include:)
A (Children's Trust) case go to trial when a group of children and young people between the ages of five and 21 square off against Montana.
Over two weeks in June, they will argue that the US state is failing to protect their constitutional rights, including the right to a healthy and clean environment, by supporting an energy system driven by fossil fuels. They will also say climate change is degrading vital resources such as rivers, lakes, fish and wildlife which are held in trust for the public.
“Never before has a climate change trial of this magnitude happened,” says Andrea Rodgers, senior litigation attorney with Our Children’s Trust, which is behind the case. “The court will be deciding the constitutionality of an energy policy that promotes fossil fuels, as well as a state law that allows agencies to ignore the impacts of climate change in their decision making.”
(Andrea Rogers says) the watershed trial would be watched around the world and “is set to influence the trajectory of climate change litigation going forward”.
~ Current Status:
~ The plaintiffs and their attorneys are continuing to gather evidence and prepare for trial. This historic trial - the first children’s climate trial in U.S. history - will begin on Monday, June 12, 2023, at the First Judicial District Court in Helena, Montana, and will conclude Friday, June 23, 2023.
(Excerpts from the Wave Newsletter)
In Canada, a ruling is expected this year in the country’s first climate lawsuit to have had its day in court. Seven young people, fronted by now-15-year-old Sophia Mathur, made history last autumn when they challenged the Ontario government’s rollback of its 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target.
In Mexico, Greenpeace and groups of young people have led several important court cases challenging the slow pace of the country’s clean energy transition. In one, the Supreme Court is due to decide whether they have standing to bring their case.
In Latin America, which has pioneered innovative approaches in climate litigation, legal action will increase and improve next year, says Javier Davalos González, senior lawyer at the Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense (AIDA).
In South Africa - a hotspot for climate litigation within the African continent - a new set of lawsuits (are scheduled to be) filed this year, as well as decisions (rendered) in several important cases. One, a constitutional challenge to the country’s plan to build new coal-fired power stations during the climate crisis, was heard in November 2022. A ruling is expected soon.
In Uganda, its High Court may conclude a case filed more than a decade ago by a group of young people, who argue their government is failing to preserve a healthy atmosphere as a public resource for both present and future generations.
In Australia, a crucible of successful climate litigation, a class action case (is expected to be heard) in June led by Torres Strait islanders Pabai Pabai and Paul Kabai, who argue the state should cut its emissions by 74% by 2030 to save their islands from rising sea levels and other devastating climate impacts.
In New Zealand, the Court of Appeal is expected to hear Northland iwi leader Mike Smith’s appeal against the High Court striking down his claim against the New Zealand government, in which he sought a declaration that it had breached its climate obligations.
In South Korea a decision is expected soon in a case filed by a youth group claiming the government of South Korea’s inaction on climate change infringes their constitutional rights.
In China, the Chinese courts... have shown a growing appetite for climate litigation and action could be taken this year against provincial governments or cities.
On the other side of the world, the European Court of Human Rights has several climate cases on its books, all of which argue that government inaction in limiting dangerous global warming risks basic human rights such as health and life.
In Switzerland, at a public climate hearing in March this year, a group of older Swiss women known as the KlimaSeniorinnen Schweiz will say they are particularly vulnerable to climate change because their health is at risk from heat waves. They will get to make their arguments in front of the court’s Grand Chamber, which is reserved for the most serious cases, and will do so supported by two prominent British lawyers - Jessica Simor and Marc Willers... Although this is a European case, it will cause international ripples. Kelly Matheson, deputy director of global climate litigation of Our Children’s Trust, which is advising on climate science in three cases before the court, said the decision by the court’s 17 judges would have a “profound effect on courts throughout the world as their finding will inform and influence the decision made in other judicial processes”.
At a national level, campaigners will be asking judges to make climate orders against the governments of Italy, Belgium and France, following a string of successful similar European cases.
Sarah Mead, co-director of the Climate Litigation Network, says these cases are crucial because a positive outcome can enhance government accountability, particularly in OECD countries with significant historical responsibilities and more capacity to cut their emissions. They also help “narrow the global emissions gap and further foster citizens' mobilisation on the need for stronger climate action”.
Mead adds that the Climate Trials campaign, launched last year to threaten governments with legal action if they did not act, will ramp up.
- (Grata Fund) https://www.gratafund.org.au/climate_trials
- (International Bar Association) https://www.ibanet.org/climate-trials-legal-challenges-view-from-France
At the UN, a vote (will be held) on a key resolution about human rights and climate change. If passed, the International Court of Justice will have to provide an advisory opinion on the obligations of states under international law to protect the rights of present and future generations against the adverse effects of climate change. This work has been led by vulnerable island state Vanuatu, and now has support from governments all around the world.
It’s not just governments in the firing line; climate litigation against the private sector will continue to grow.
In the US, there might finally be an answer to the question of which courts will handle the plethora of lawsuits against the fossil fuel industry. Companies have been pushing to have these cases heard at the federal level, where they believe they stand more chance of success, but judges have consistently ruled against them.
The Supreme Court has been asked to intervene, and if it takes up the case next year it may finally draw a line under the issue.
Richard Wiles, president of the Center for Climate Integrity, says that if the Supreme Court agrees with federal judges it would remove one of the last procedural hurdles and mean cases can start to move on to talk about the actual issues at stake - were the actions of fossil fuel companies reasonable and what responsibility do they bear?
Following pre-Christmas wins against billionaire Clive Palmer’s attempt to build a huge thermal coal mine and Santos $4.7 billion Barossa offshore gas project, Australian climate campaigners are now on tenterhooks awaiting a decision on their challenge to Woodside’s $16bn Scarborough gas project because of the impact of its greenhouse gas emissions on the Great Barrier Reef.
In another case fronted by Northland iwi leader Smith, New Zealand’s Supreme Court will decide whether a challenge against seven of the country’s largest polluters and fossil fuel producers, claiming injury from their ongoing emissions, can go to trial.
In Germany, there is likely to be a ruling in a landmark lawsuit brought by Peruvian farmer Saúl Luciano Lliuya against RWE for contributing to climate change. The court sent judges to Peru last year to determine the level of damage, and its decision will be very closely watched by corporations of all stripes. Germany is also home to a group of cases filed against car manufacturers. One claim against Mercedes-Benz was rejected last year, but others could proceed further.
In Brazil, following a landmark ruling last year that recognised the Paris Agreement as a human rights treaty, Brazil’s courts are expected to rule on a case brought against Brazil's national development bank (BNDES) and its investment arm BNDESPar by Brazilian NGO Conectas Direitos Humanos which wants them to develop a greenhouse gas emissions reduction plan to guide their investments. It’s the first case of its kind against a development bank anywhere in the world, and could have significant repercussions on wider climate finance.
Several lawsuits have been filed to try to block TotalEnergies’ controversial East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP). One brought by civil society organisations from Uganda and Tanzania at the East African Court of Justice has been bogged down by jurisdictional arguments. But another filed under a novel ‘duty of vigilance’ law in France had a hearing in December and there could potentially be a ruling this year.
In South Africa, the courts will decide whether Shell was legally given exploration rights off the ecologically sensitive Wild Coast, after Shell appealed an order to halt seismic testing.
Next year might also see movement in Shell’s appeal against a landmark ruling by a Dutch court, which in 2021 ordered it to cut its carbon emissions by 45% by 2030. Although the court was clear that Shell must begin complying with the ruling straight away, Milieudefensie (the Dutch arm of Friends of the Earth), which brought the case, does not think it is doing enough to meet the target. In the meantime, Shell has moved its headquarters from the Netherlands to the UK. Shell’s directors too will be under an unprecedented level of scrutiny this year. ClientEarth sent a letter to the company’s board in 2022, warning that it was prepared to start a legal challenge in the UK if Shell does not handle its climate risks better. If ClientEarth follows through, this would be the first derivative action anywhere against a board for failing to consider efforts towards achieving net zero.
Re: Greenwashing - a fast-growing area of climate litigation - expect to hear more on allegations that Dutch airline KLM’s adverts promoting the company's sustainability initiative are misleading and claims that gas company Santos breached Australian corporate and consumer law over clean energy and net zero plans.
Whatever happens in those cases, expect to see many more lawsuits filed this year, as well as more creative uses of the law. These will be filed against governments of all levels, based on the most cutting-edge science, as well as against companies.
The financial sector, in particular, is likely to be a big target, and there will be continuing waves of related litigation targeting plastics and biodiversity loss. This year is “shaping up to be a really important year for climate litigation,” says Mead.
2022 was a big year for climate action in the courts
The past year saw major developments in accountability cases against oil companies and national governments around the world, as well as setbacks for several high-profile fossil fuel projects.
It was another busy year in the courts for climate-related cases. From challenges to fossil fuel and petrochemical expansion to climate lawsuits against Big Oil and national governments, there were notable victories for climate action and accountability in 2022. There were also some setbacks, for instance, the U.S. Supreme Court’s limitation of the U.S. EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Here are some of the highlights.
Boost climate action or we'll see you court, activists tell governments
September 27, 2022
Paris (AFP) – Governments around the world must scale up climate action "or face further legal action", an open letter from campaign groups warned Tuesday, as battles over policies to cut emissions and protect the environment are increasingly fought in the courts.
From legal efforts to steer governments to do more to curb fossil fuel pollution, to court action over companies' misleading green claims, the number, scope and ambitions of climate litigation is expanding, say experts, with an increasing number of cases are being launched against governments...
Research from the Grantham Research Institute at the London School of Economics this year has found that of the 2,000 or so climate legal cases filed since 1986, almost a quarter were started since the beginning of 2020.
The climate trials of the 21st century have begun
By Kurt Cobb - (2016)
We now have underway the first climate trials (or various stages of them) of the 21st century. The overall question in these trials is actually straightforward: Do governments and corporations have an obligation to protect the habitability of the Earth’s climate for human populations?
Let’s start with government. The first trial (in the United States) was not actually that recent. In 1999 a group of environmental organizations petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate greenhouse gases. In 2003 the EPA denied the petition. Several states then joined a legal appeal which reached the U.S. Supreme Court. The court decided in 2007 that, in fact, the EPA did have the authority and the obligation to consider seriously how to regulate greenhouse gases.
The agency then offered a regulation plan which was challenged in court. In 2014 the Supreme Court found the EPA plan acceptable with a few minor tweaks.
This kind of legal battle is really a plain vanilla regulatory fight about what a particular government agency can and should do under existing laws. But a more sweeping type of legal battle is now unfolding, one that invokes a much broader obligation of the government to make the climate safe for future generations.
In Washington state a group of young people between the ages of 12 and 16 sued the state to force it to implement a greenhouse gas emissions reduction plan. The state has since come up with a plan that the attorneys for the children say is inadequate. They are in court once again.
Washington isn’t the only state feeling the judicial heat. A group called Our Children’s Trust is pursuing legal action in several states (including the case cited above) and in federal court. The federal case is proceeding to trial after the government failed to get it dismissed. The aim of the federal plaintiffs is to seek broader protection in policies across the government, not in just one agency...
Some 80 of these cases have been filed against national or subnational governments since 2005, the research found, with a record number of 30 new cases submitted in 2021.
A Story of Intended National Climate Actions (INDCs) and Determined Actions (NDCs)
Will we move nation-by-nation and internationally with enough speed and scope in our climate actions to protect and preserve an intergenerationally thriving planet?
Intended and Nationally Determined Climate Goals
From the Paris Climate Summit's INDCs to the Glasgow Climate Summit's NDCs
Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) Tracking
Measuring and Monitoring Climate Plans & Climate Actions
'Talking the Talk and/or Walking the Walk'
- https://www.carbonbrief.org/paris-2015-tracking-country-climate-pledges (initial INDCs / 2015)
Climate Plans Enforcement - Resources
Each of us, each of our nations, can make a positive difference
National Climate Action Plans 360
- Charging Up Intended (INDCs) & Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)
Tracking the Climate Promises & Pledges, Nation-by-Nation)
Countries with Largest CO2 Emissions
Countries highest in C02 emissions
Listing of Countries / Mapping Progress toward INDC Goals
 Greening Our Blue Planet
- China, India Move Forward, West Falls Behind on Climate Action: Latest Developments on Climate Policy
- Countries Climate Action/INDC Plans
- October 4, 2016, the EU voted to ratify the #ParisAgreement
- The most comprehensive international agreement ever to combat man-made climate change will take effect next month, less than a year after negotiators from more than 190 countries reached international accord.
- October 5, 2016 / The European Parliament yesterday approved ratification of the Paris climate accord by the European Union (EU).
- United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon: "There are two requirements for the Paris Agreement to enter into force. Fifty-five parties to the Agreement, and fifty-five percent of greenhouse gas emissions accounted for... With the action taken by the EU Parliament, we will achieve both thresholds."
- Climate Action Headline News
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GreenPolicy continues updating climate plans and climate plan actions from countries across the globe...
Earth Day / April 22, 2016 / Countries Signing Climate Action Plans
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