Urgenda gewinnt: Gericht in Den Haag bestätigt Klimaurteil gegen die niederländische Regierung

Die Niederlande müssen nach einem Gerichtsurteil heute ihre Emissionen drastisch reduzieren. Das urteilte das Zivilgericht heute in Den Haag und bestätigte damit in zweiter Instanz ein Urteil von 2015. Ein niederländisches Gericht hatte die dortige Regierung 2015 nämlich dazu verurteilt, ihre Emissionen bis 2020 um mindestens 25 % zu reduzieren. Eingebracht hatte die niederländischen Urgenda Stiftung die Klage im Namen von 900 Bürger/innen des Landes (Klima der Gerechtigkeit berichtete).

Das Gericht in Den Haag fasst die Entscheidung wie folgt zusammen:

Urgenda and the State both agree that the emission of greenhouse gases, such as CO2, entails serious risks for life on earth. Urgenda therefore wants the State to take action to achieve lower emissions sooner than within the time frame currently envisaged by the State. The Hague Court of Appeal shares Urgenda’s view on this matter. Considering the great dangers that are likely to occur, more ambitious measures have to be taken in the short term to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to protect the life and family life of citizens in the Netherlands. The Court of Appeal has based its ruling on the State’s legal duty to ensure the protection of the life and family life of citizens, also in the long term. This legal duty is enshrined in the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR). The Court disagrees with the State that courts have no right to take decisions in this area. The Court has to apply directly effective provisions of treaties to which the Netherlands is party. These provisions form part of the Dutch legal order and even take precedence over deviating Dutch laws.

Die Regierung hatte nämlich Berufung eingelegt – und damit ist sie heute gescheitert:


All of the above leads to the conclusion that the State is acting unlawfully (because in contravention of the duty of care under Articles 2 and 8 ECHR) by failing to pursue a more ambitious reduction as of end-2020, and that the State should reduce emissions by at least 25% by end-2020. The State’s grounds of appeal pertaining to the district court’s opinion about the hazardous negligence doctrine need no discussion under these state of affairs. The judgment is hereby upheld. The grounds of appeal in the appeal on the main issue need no separate discussion. They have been discussed in the foregoing insofar as these grounds of appeal are relevant to the assessment of the cross-appeal. As the unsuccessful party in the appeal, the State is ordered to pay the costs of the appeal on the main issue as well as of the cross-appeal.


The Court:

  • upholds the judgment of The Hague District Court of 24 June 2015 delivered in the case between the parties;
  • orders the State to pay the costs of the proceedings in the appeal on the main issue and of the cross-appeal, on the part of Urgenda estimated up to this ruling at € 711 in court fees, € 16,503 in attorney fees in the appeal on the main issue and € 8,256 in attorney fees in the cross-appeal, and orders the State to pay these costs within fourteen days following this ruling, failing which statutory interest within the meaning of Book 6 Section 119 of the Dutch Civil Code is payable as at the end of the aforementioned term until the date on which payment is made in full;
  • declares this judgment provisionally enforceable.

Wichtig ist dieser Sieg auch deshalb, weil die Urgenda-Klage dutzende ähnliche Klagen überall auf der Welt inspiriert hat und weiter inspiriert. Die Entscheidung des Gerichts heute dürfte den Kläger/innen dort Aufwind und Rückenwind geben.