Today’s Solutions: May 22, 2022

Nearly a quarter of the Netherlands lies below sea-level. Despite becoming an early adopter of climate adaptation strategies, the country lags behind much of the European Union in renewable energy sources. In 2012, 900 Dutch citizens filed a class action lawsuit against their government based on existing human rights laws. “The Netherlands is knowingly exposing its own citizens to dangerous situations, in which they and their children will suffer serious hardship,” said the Urgenda Foundation, the lead plaintiff in the case. Public arguments started this week. The Oslo Principles on Global Climate Change Obligations, which launched last month, are likely to strengthen the case. They hold that governments have the legal obligation to prevent the harmful effects of climate change, regardless of any preexisting international agreements. As such, the Dutch case will demonstrate whether the proof is in the pudding. If it is successful, watch out for the domino effect. More court cases are already popping up around the world, including in Belgium, and in Oregon where oral arguments started last week.

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