A Court Finally Orders a Government to Act on Global Warming

In a landmark victory for climate activists, a court in the Netherlands ruled Wednesday that the government must take action to cut its greenhouse gas emissions to combat global warming. Brought by 900 Dutch citizens and climate activists, it is the first successful court case anywhere in the world that ordered a government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Hague District Court agreed with plaintiffs that the Dutch government has a legal obligation to protect its people against climate change, which threatens the low-lying country with sea level rise-related flooding. Much of the Netherlands is below sea level, and the government maintains an extensive network of barriers to keep back the rising seas from inundating its countryside.