A court in France found the country guilty of failing to meet its commitments as outlined in the Paris climate accord.
CBS News reported that the Administrative Tribunal in Paris ruled last week that France had failed to meet its commitments outlined in the accord, which required the country to reduce greenhouse gases. Four environmental groups filed a lawsuit against the government alleging the country was damaging the environment by not meeting its promises.
“While the court declared the government guilty of inaction, it rejected a claim for damages by the four NGOs that brought the suit, ordering the government to pay just one symbolic euro to them instead. The tribunal also said it would decide within two months whether to recommend any measures for the government to resolve its failure to meet its own commitments,” CBS reported.
The Paris climate accord was signed in December 2015 and named after France’s capital city, where the signing occurred. At the time, 196 countries agreed to reduce global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius as compared to 1990 levels, CBS reported. France promised to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% of those levels by 2030 and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. In 2020, however, France said it was deferring that commitment, which prompted the four environmental groups to file the lawsuit.
Cecile Duflot, the former Green Party leader and cabinet minister who now leads Oxfam France, one of the environmental groups that sued, called the ruling “a historic victory for climate justice.” Jean-Francois Julliard, the director of Greenpeace France, which also contributed to the lawsuit, called the ruling “a political victory.”
“Wednesday’s ruling was a blow for French president Emmanuel Macron, who’s made combatting climate change a priority for his administration. It was also a pointed slap in the face for the country that oversaw the negotiations and signing of the Paris Agreement,” CBS reported. “The French government issued a statement saying it had ‘taken note of’ the court’s decision, acknowledging that initial objectives had not been achieved and promising that a new bill to address the climate would be debated in parliament next month. That legislation, the government said, would constitute ‘a new and decisive step in accelerating France’s ecological transition.’”
In 2019, then-President Donald Trump officially pulled the United States out of the Paris climate deal, with then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo citing the “unfair economic burden imposed on American workers, businesses and taxpayers” the deal imposed. On his first day in office, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to force the U.S. to rejoin the Paris accord, The Daily Wire’s Ryan Saavedra reported.
In 2017, Trump informally removed the U.S. from the Paris accord, even though the agreement said countries couldn’t withdraw for the first three years. Even after Trump symbolically withdrew the U.S., America led the world in decreasing carbon emissions, The Daily Wire’s Emily Zanotti reported.
“Strangely enough, Canada, Spain, the European Union, and China — all signatories to the infamous Paris Climate Accords negotiated by the United Nations — saw significant increases in carbon dioxide emissions. China released 120 million more tons of carbon dioxide into the air in 2017 than in 2016. The EU made up for America’s decline, releasing 40 million more tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere,” Zanotti reported.