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External Contribution to the French Constitutional Council

Jurisdiction: France

Side A: Notre Affaire à Tous (Ngo)

Core objectives: Environmental group filed memorandum asking French Constitutional Council to invalidate the French Parliament's adoption of an energy and climate bill, alleging that the measures provided are insufficient to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

On September 26, 2019, the French Parliament approved a bill related to energy and the climate, which aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The environmental nongovernmental organization Notre Affaire à Tous (NAAT) filed an external contribution (similar to a friend of the court filing) with the French Constitutional Council, which according to NAAT is reviewing the legislation following a legal challenge. NAAT alleges that the bill does not comply with the environmental obligation of vigilance previously recognized by the Constitutional Council, and asks the Council to recognize the right to live in a sustainable climate as a constitutional principle. 

According to NAAT, its memorandum makes the following arguments: 1) the law's mandates insufficient greenhouse gas cuts to achieve carbon neutrality; 2) the absence of adequate corporate greenhouse gas reductions violates the vigilance obligation; 3) the lack of existing financial measures makes achieving carbon neutrality an uncertain goal; 4) the carbon neutrality objective should not be confined to energy, as agriculture represents 20% of France's greenhouse gas emissions; 5) the intermediate targets provided by the bill are not consistent with achieving carbon neutrality; 6) the absence of an independent body with reviewing and enforcement powers runs afoul of the principle of vigilance.
Case documents

from the Grantham Research Institute
from the Grantham Research Institute
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