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Climate trial: “Governments in Belgium do not have the ambition to act”

Un observation can be made: greenhouse gas emissions have only increased year after year and governments in Belgium do not have the ambition to act, despite their commitments ”, pleaded Carole. Billiet, lawyer for the ASBL Klimaatzaak, Tuesday morning, in the “climate trial”, before the civil court of Brussels. The association, joined by 62,000 citizens, has taken action against the State and the three Regions with a view to forcing the Belgian authorities to respect their promises in the context of the fight against global warming.

The plaintiffs’ lawyers began their pleadings on Tuesday by reminding the court of the causes and consequences of global warming, the missions of the IPCC (intergovernmental group of experts on climate change) and the notion of “dangerous global warming”.

“The atmosphere is polluted by the presence of several gases which accumulate there, especially carbon dioxide (CO2), causing what is called the greenhouse effect. The timing of this spectacular and spectacularly rapid increase in the presence of CO2 in the atmosphere corresponds to the industrial age. And there is a clear link between cumulative CO2 emissions to the air and global warming, which has increased by one degree overall since the start of the industrial age. If we want to limit global warming, we must therefore limit CO2 emissions ”, first reminded Me Carole Billiet.

The IPCC, she detailed, has developed several scenarios about global warming as it could be by 2100, the most optimistic concluding with a warming of 2 degrees Celsius and the least optimistic concluding with a warming. of 4 degrees.

In this “climate trial”, the non-profit organization Klimaatzaak attacks the federal state, the Brussels-Capital Region, the Flemish Region and the Walloon Region for violation of human and children’s rights. The association, supported by some 62,000 people who joined in its legal fight, considers that the Belgian political authorities are endangering citizens by not respecting the commitments they have made at European and global levels to slow down emissions of CO2 of the country.

The plaintiffs intend to get the tribunal to force these four political bodies to act immediately, starting by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 42% by 2025, on pain of penalties of a million euros for each month of delay in the execution of the decision.

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