Four environmental NGOs on Thursday sued the French government for failing to uphold its commitments on fighting climate change, the latest in a series of high-profile cases that aim to force governments around the world into action.
The foundation of Nicolas Hulot, a crusading former environment minister who quit President Emmanuel Macron’s government last year over what he saw as its failure to green the economy, has teamed up with Oxfam, Greenpeace and “Notre Affaire A Tous” (It’s Everyone’s Business) in taking on the state.
Over two million people have signed a petition backing the move, which follows similar cases lodged in the Netherlands, Pakistan and Colombia that yielded historic wins for campaigners.
Despite Macron’s promise to “make our planet great again”, France’s emissions in 2017 exceeded its commitments under the 2015 Paris climate treaty.
“We waited a long time for a response from the government but it has announced no new far-reaching measures,” said Marie Pochon, spokeswoman for Notre Affaire A Tous. “It seemed natural therefore to launch this lawsuit.”
The government defended itself in a reply to the NGOs in February, saying that measures taken to date were…