Six Youths v. Minister of Environment and Others

Jurisdiction: 14th Federal Court of Sao Paulo

Principle law(s): Law 12.187/2009, establishing the National Policy on Climate Change (NPCC), regulated by Decree 7.390/2010

Side A: Six Youth Plaintiffs (Individual)

Side B: Government of Brazil (Government)

Core objectives:

Whether Brazil's updated NDC violated the Paris Agreement and Brazil's constitution by decreasing its ambition.

On April 13, 2021, six young climate activists filed suit alleging that the government of Brazil, by using a carbon trick manoeuvre in its updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the Paris Agreement, violated obligations under the Paris Agreement and Brazilian law. Brazil submitted an updated NDC in 2020 that maintains a 43 percent emissions cut by 2030 goal, but raises Brazil's estimated baseline emissions from 2005. In effect, plaintiffs allege, this would allow Brazil to emit 400 million more tonnes by 2030. Plaintiffs allege that this accounting manoeuvre violates the Paris Agreement's obligation to increase ambition in updated NDCs, violates Brazil's obligation to safeguard the right to an ecologically balanced environment under Article 225 of the constitution, and violates Brazil's National Policy on Climate Change.

On May 28, 2021, the court found that the NDC cannot be considered less ambitious since it included a carbon neutrality goal. The court therefore dismissed the urgency request. 
Case documents

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