Czechia’s energy and climate policy has been demonstrably failing its own objectives for a number of years. Our national greenhouse gas emissions are way above global and European averages, reaching 11.38 t CO2 (eq.) per capita in 2021. The main reason is the lack of meaningful political will for a change. Our government has no serious plan to reduce emissions and achieve carbon neutrality, moreover, it frequently undermines EU-wide plans and has been a vocal opponent of the Green Deal.
We are an association of Czech citizens determined to change this, which is why we filed our country’s first Climate Litigation against four government ministries.
- Who are we, and what do we want?
Our association has connected over 300 Czech citizens with multiple farmers and foresters, one municipality, and a courageous man struggling with climate anxiety. In 2021, we together sued four Czech ministries for failing to implement an adequate climate policy, thereby violating our constitution-guaranteed rights. One year later, we celebrated our first major success when the court of first instance ruled in our favor in a landmark judgment: The ministries were legally ordered to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 55 % by 2030, based on 1990 levels.
The celebration did not last long, as the ministries appealed against the ruling at a higher court, which then voiced a different opinion and nullified the initial decision in October 2023, thereby dismissing our lawsuit. However, we have not yet exhausted all legal remedies. Currently, we are drafting an appeal against those unfair judgments, and we are ready to bring the Climate Litigation all the way to the Constitutional Court, the highest authority guaranteeing human rights in Czechia, which has not yet issued a ruling in our case. A decision by the Constitutional Court can nullify all previous court decisions, and it can even order the courts and the ministries to respect our human rights, the country’s Constitution, and the targets of the Paris agreement by implementing a policy that would finally mandate a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
For our first-of-its-kind legal case to succeed, we must prepare the most convincing line of argumentation, which is why we are asking for your support today.
- Why is the Climate Litigation important for people in Czechia as well as in the EU?
Our eventual success will have a major and lasting impact on climate-related government policy as well as subsequent court decisions in Czechia. It will also provide a big help to a great number of people and organizations in similar lawsuits. The court rulings to this date have already kickstarted a serious discussion on the need for Czechia’s own Climate Protection Law.
Moreover, Czechia has a lively and highly organized civil society with a number of grassroots organizations advocating for better environmental policies, that also hold regular protests, strikes, and appeals demanding climate justice. Too often, they encounter indifference from the authorities, and their demands only rarely result in adoption of effective policies. In this context, our initiative also aims to support these cases with a solid legal basis that will make it easier to push all parts of government towards long-lasting fair and just decision-making, thereby further empowering the civil society.
Thirdly, our Climate Litigation can also help steer Czechia’s foreign policy, including its role at EU-level negotiations, toward true climate neutrality and transform our country’s position from that of a nay-sayer into one that actively promotes bold approaches to European climate policy.
- What do we require financial support for?
The law firm Frank Bold Attorneys
, who are Czechia’s leading legal experts in public-interest cases, have been representing us since 2021 at prices below the market rate. Nevertheless, since our case is exceptional and underpinned by thorough scientific expert testimonies, every single legal submission in our court case requires a considerable amount of careful work, which comes at a price. At the moment, we need to cover a budget dedicated to the preparation of a complaint to the Supreme Administrative Court, called a judicial review of an unlawful decision, and a subsequent constitutional complaint to the Constitutional Court.
The funds that we do not spend on legal services in the end, will be allocated to other activities of our association, especially on a related media campaign and on educational activities on climate protection and public law for the general public. We also educate high-school students about the law, climate protection, and active citizenship at cooperative workshops hosted at schools.
We are most grateful for all forms of your support!
More information about us and our efforts can be found on our website: https://www.klimazaloba.cz/en/
In case of any questions, please feel free to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- International coverage of our case: