Dutch govt to appeal court ruling on gases

  • 01/09/2015

The Dutch government says it will appeal against a court ruling ordering it to slash greenhouse gases across the country by 25 percent by 2020.

The June judgment had been hailed as a "milestone" by climate experts after 900 Dutch citizens went to court in a bid to force a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

But Dutch leaders fear the court decision could have wide implications for their policies.

"Given the consequences for our climate policy and that we cannot rule out ... consequences in other areas, it is preferable for the appeals court to examine this judgment," Environment Minister Wilma Mansveld said in a letter to parliament.

"The government is seeking to determine how much control judges can have over the future policies of the state."

She said, however, measures were already being put into place to cut emissions, blamed for global warming.

Environmental rights group Urgenda, which brought the case in April, had said it wanted The Hague to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent over 1990 levels by 2020.

Current Dutch policy is to reduce emissions by 17 percent by 2020, against the 25-40 percent international norm for industrialised nations, the court said.