The Dutch Urgenda Foundation aims for a fast transition towards a sustainable society, with a focus on the transition towards a circular economy using only renewable energy. It works on solutions for this transition, including for example the introduction and realization of ‘energy neutral’ houses and the acceleration of electric mobility. Urgenda views climate change as one of the biggest challenges of our times and looks for solutions to ensure that the earth will continue to be a safe place to live for future generations.
LANDMARK DECISION BY DUTCH SUPREME COURT
On 20 December 2019, the Dutch Supreme Court, the highest court in the Netherlands, upheld the previous decisions in the Urgenda Climate Case, finding that the Dutch government has obligations to urgently and significantly reduce emissions in line with its human rights obligations. A truly historic outcome!
The Urgenda Climate Case against the Dutch Government was the first in the world in which citizens established that their government has a legal duty to prevent dangerous climate change. On 24 June 2015, the District Court of The Hague ruled the government must cut its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25% by the end of 2020 (compared to 1990 levels). The ruling required the government to immediately take more effective action on climate change.
The District Court’s decision was appealed by the State and upheld by the Court of Appeal on 9 October 2018. Following this judgment, the State appealed to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ruled in favour of Urgenda on 20 December 2019. Read Urgenda’s press release here, the press release of the Supreme Court here and an explanation of the case by the press Justice to the Supreme Court here.
In a reflection of the international significance of the case, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has also published a news release about the decision in which she notes that “the decision confirms that the Government of the Netherlands and, by implication, other governments have binding legal obligations, based on international human rights law, to undertake strong reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases.”
For more information on the case click here.
Co-founder and director Marjan Minnesma has been named ‘most influential person in the field of sustainability’ in the Netherlands in three consecutive years (2011-2013) by newspaper Trouw. She has worked in the business and NGO world, as well as for leading Dutch universities, amongst others as the director of the Institute for Transitions at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam.
On this website Urgenda displays a selection of its current projects. More information in Dutch can be found at: www.urgenda.nl