On Thursday, September 30, 2021, a new hearing of the Affaire du Siècle was held before the administrative tribunal of Paris. After having condemned the French state for climate inaction last February, the judges will have to decide "the measures which must be ordered to the state" so that France is finally in the nails and takes concrete action for the climate. During the hearing, the public rapporteur concluded that the State must put in place concrete and very rapid actions. A decisive step, pending deliberation within a few weeks. We explain why in 4 questions.
1. What is the Affair of the Century?
Nothing to do with stories of nuclear submarines and kangaroos. The Affaire du Siècle is a legal action , brought in the name of the general interest by four organizations for environmental protection and international solidarity: Notre Affaire à Tous, the Nicolas Hulot Foundation for Nature and Humanity, Oxfam France and Greenpeace France. Our goal: for justice to force the French state to finally take concrete action against climate change .
The Affair of the Century is therefore a legal and climatic affair , but also a citizens' movement, supported by more than 2.3 million signatories of our appeal in France. And this movement is not isolated: in many States, citizens are seizing the justis , as we have done, so that their fundamental rights are guaranteed in the face of climate change.
2. The Affair of the Century, it's not already won?
On February 3, 2021, the Affaire du Siècle collective won a historic legal victory : for the first time, the French state was found guilty of climate inaction by the Paris administrative court. Until then, French officials claimed to be doing enough for the climate, despite a succession of overwhelming evidence. The judges considered not only that the State was not doing enough, as the Council of State had already recognized in the Grande-Synthe affair , but also and above all that this inaction, in the face of a threat that concerns everyone, was illegal . They also recognized the state's responsibility for worsening climate change and therefore condemned it to act.
After this historic condemnation of the French state, action is now needed for the climate . The judges therefore reopened the investigation to decide "the measures which must be ordered to the State" to put France back into climate legality.
3. Why a new Affair of the Century hearing?
The hearing of September 30 is the logical continuation of the victory that we obtained against the State on February 3, 2021. During this new hearing, the public rapporteur presented her recommendations on the actions to be followed, according to her, by the 'State. She concluded that the State must repair, through concrete and very rapid actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the serious damage caused to the environment by its climate inaction. At the end of this hearing, the judges have a few weeks to deliberate. We hope that the French state will be forced to take concrete measures in the various key sectors in terms of greenhouse gas emissions (transport, buildings , agriculture, etc.) and to put in place structural ecological transition measures. .
In our opinion, the actions to be implemented are numerous, as detailed on the Affaire du Siècle website . Here are a few :
- enhance ambitions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
- immediately reduce emissions from the transport sector by 6%, by massively increasing the modal share of non-road and non-air transport
- massively (and efficiently) renovate hundreds of thousands of homes
- drastically increase the share of usable agricultural area cultivated organically
- set up monitoring and evaluation mechanisms
- offset the surplus greenhouse gases emitted illegally between 2015 and 2018 ...
4. What could this change for the climate and our daily lives?
What happened during the hearing on September 30 is far from being theoretical: they are acts that will have direct consequences on the health, income and living environment of millions of people in France. , threatened by the consequences of climate change and state inaction.
France is obviously not the only country responsible for climate change. But it bears a heavy share of responsibility . Beyond the greenhouse gas emissions for which it is directly responsible on its territory, France has a considerable carbon footprint linked to imports of products and services from abroad. It is also one of the countries that emit the most CO2 for a long time. However, the accumulation of CO2 over the years is decisive in current and future climate change. Every greenhouse gas emission counts. Every tenth of a degree counts. And the concrete actions that France will finally have to implement will therefore be decisive for the climate and for our future.
See you in a few weeks for the deliberation.