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CLIMATE CHANGE

France hit with climate change lawsuit

A group of NGOs including Greenpeace and Oxfam have launched a lawsuit against the French state accusing it of taking insufficient action to tackle climate change.

France hit with climate change lawsuit
A demonstrator holds a placard reading "There is no planet B" during a march against climate change, in Bordeaux. Photo: AFP
It comes after similar action was launched by farmers in Germany, and the Dutch government lost a landmark case brought by an environmental rights group on cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
   
“The failure of the state in the fight against climate change reflects a lack of respect in its obligation to protect the environment and the health and security of the population,” the NGOs said in a joint statement on Monday.
   
The French government will have two months to respond to the legal action. 
   
“We are seeking redress for damages and asking the state to act straight away at all levels,” Greenpeace campaigner Laura Monnier said. 
   
The NGOs allege that France, where greenhouse gas emissions rose again in 2015, has not met its short-term climate objectives. 
   
President Emmanuel Macron, who has attempted to paint himself as a leader in fighting climate change since his election last year, recently backed on anti-pollution fuel tax hikes in the face of country-wide “yellow vest” protests.
   
In October, the Dutch government lost an appeal against a ruling which ordered it to slash greenhouse gases by at least 25 percent by 2020. 
   
Environmental rights group Urgenda fought the successful case on behalf of some 900 Dutch citizens who accused the Netherlands of doing too little to prevent dangerous climate change.
   
In Germany, dismayed farmers who have suffered damage to their crops and dairy farms as a result of record drought have also filed a lawsuit, with the aid of Greenpeace, against Berlin to force action.
   
Last month the UN's Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) said in a report that warming is on track toward an unliveable 3C or 4C rise, and avoiding global chaos will require a major transformation.
 
A deal reached at the UN's COP24 climate summit earlier this month was criticised for not matching the ambition of the world's most vulnerable countries. 

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ENVIRONMENT

English-speaking churches in France launch climate campaign

English-speaking churches in France and across Europe have launched a massive environmental campaign ahead of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow next month.  

A chimney belches out smoke as a haze of pollution hangs over the city of Lyon in southeast France
Photo: Philippe Desmazes / AFP

The European Interfaith Climate Campaign is intended to promote ‘rapid, transformative change to avert climate catastrophe’. 

The American Church in Paris, Quakers of France, the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Paris, the American International Church in London, and 0.6 Planet have teamed up to ‘work together to shed light on the systemic and structural issues blocking a sustainable future and climate justice for all people’, the group said in a statement.

Events taking place at the American Church in Paris include:

  • Climate Sunday-themed services on October 31st at 11am and 2pm
  • Children attending the church are creating “prayer boats” to go to COP26.
  • The founder of 0.6 Planet, Monica Bassett, will headline at a Zoom event on November 2nd between 7.30pm and 9pm to discuss her new life in a French ecovillage in the Dordogne, where she has drastically cut her consumption and carbon footprint.

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Paris has a full programme as well:

  • Six Eco-Weeks Challenges and online conversations on Thursday evenings: from October 4th to November 12th.
  • Climate Sunday Service: in-person & live-streamed on October 17th, at 10:30am: “A Call for Change” (intergenerational focus)
  • Virtual Watch Party on Sunday, October 24th, at 11 am: “The Wisdom to Survive” documentary, followed by a on discussion: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/wisdomtosurvive
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