GLSM – The Urgenda Climate Case

Dennis van Berkel is legal counsel to the Urgenda Foundation and is the Director of the Climate Litigation Network of the Urgenda Foundation, based in the Netherlands.

The good legal story On 20 December 2019 the Supreme Court, the highest court in the country, affirmed that the Netherlands must reduce its emissions by a minimum of 25% before 2020 compared to 1990 levels.

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. Brought on behalf of 886 Dutch citizens, the case made climate change a major political and social issue in the Netherlands and transformed domestic climate change policy. It inspired climate change cases in Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Ireland, Germany, France, New Zealand, Norway, the UK, Switzerland and against the EU. Dennis spoke about his role in the case, its impact in the Netherlands and globally, and his ongoing work to share experience, offer support, and strategize with a growing network of climate litigation advocates around the world.

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