Poles Sue Government Over Climate

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Poland is being sued by five citizens who claim the government is not doing enough to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect them and their businesses from the worst effects of climate change. "The Polish government must guarantee people the right to a healthy environment and the right to live in a safe and stable climate," said Sophie Marjanac, a lawyer with environmental law firm ClientEarth, which is supporting the plaintiffs. "It has a legal duty under its civil code and under human rights law to do so," she added. Poland is the only EU member state that has not committed to attain carbon neutrality by 2050. Coal provides about 70% of the country's electricity. Poland joins a growing list of countries -- including Australia, Brazil, France and the UK -- where governments have been taken to court by citizens who contend they are not doing enough to protect them from harmful climate change. In the Netherlands, a court recently ordered oil giant Royal Dutch Shell to accelerate its efforts to reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases (IOD Jun.9'21).

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