Dutch Ruling on Climate Change Opens the Door to More Aggressive Action

by RP Siegel
Jun 30, 2015 5:00 PM ET
Campaign: CSR Blogs


There was big news coming out of Europe last week, other than the ongoing Greek banking crisis. A district court in The Hague made a ruling in a climate change lawsuit that could have far-reaching consequences. A group called the Urgenda Foundation, along with some 900 co-plaintiffs, filed suit against the Dutch government for not taking sufficient action against climate change. The case was filed in November 2013, after a letter written a year earlier, asking for more action received a response that acknowledged that the Dutch government's action were insufficient. The lawsuit was based on “the principle that the government can be held legally accountable for not taking sufficient action to prevent foreseeable harm.”

The action was largely inspired by the book, Revolution Justified, written by the Dutch lawyer Roger Cox, who made the case for such a suit in a piece published in The Guardian. He later gave a TEDx talk on the subject entitled “How EU Action Couild Save Earth from Climate Disaster.”

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Image credit: Ronny RIchert: Flickr Creative Commons

RP Siegel, author and inventor, shines a powerful light on numerous environmental and technological topics. He has been published in business and technical journals and has written three books. His third, co-authored with Roger Saillant, is Vapor Trails, an eco-thriller that is being adapted for the big screen. RP is a professional engineer – and a prolific inventor, with 50 patents, numerous awards, and several commercial products. He is president of Rain Mountain LLC and is an active environmental advocate in his hometown of Rochester, N.Y. In addition to Justmeans, he writes for Triple Pundit, ThomasNet News, and Energy Viewpoints, occasionally contributing to Mechanical Engineering, Strategy + Business, and Huffington Post.