The Council of State hosted the 19th annual conference of the European Forum of Judges for the Environment (EUFJE) on 24 and 25 October 2022. While citizens around the world are taking legal action to impose measures in favour of the climate mitigation actions, this edition was an opportunity to look back at this litigation and to analyse cases that have shaped climate justice across borders.
Because judges around the world have built climate law decision after decision and because climate change transcends borders, there is a need for dialogue, particularly in Europe. This was the purpose of this 19th conference, hosted by the Council of State, which has been at the heart of this "climate litigation" for several years.
Opened by the Vice-President of the Council of State, Didier-Roland Tabuteau, the conference featured speakers from the European Commission, the Court of Justice of the European Union and the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights, national courts, the University and the European Environment Agency.
The event gave national courts the opportunity to look back at cases that have had an impact on climate justice, such as the "Urgenda" case (Amsterdam court), Friends of the Irish v. Ireland (Irish Supreme Court) and the "climate" decision of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany. On this occasion, Fabien Raynaud, Deputy President of the Council of State's Report and Studies Section, spoke about the Grande Synthe and Affaire du siècle decisions. Two cases handed down by the French administrative jurisdiction on the State's compliance with the climate commitments defined at COP21 in the Paris Agreement.
Since the climate change situation is ever more alarming, the exchanges at this conference provided food for thought with the aim of making decisions that are increasingly well informed and adapted to the needs arising from climate change.
The European Forum of Judges for the Environment was created by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), which took the initiative of bringing together all the presidents of the world's supreme courts and chief justices at the Johannesburg Summit in August 2002. To implement the resolutions adopted at this meeting, regional colloquia were created. The European judges met in Rome in May 2003 and decided to create a permanent organisation for the countries of the European Union.