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Sustainability Monitor

Climate Protection made in Karlsruhe

by Dr. Katja Gelinsky

The Federal Constitutional Court as an International Trendsetter?

The Climate Decision has attracted widespread international attention. To secure future freedom, the German state needs to pursue an internationally oriented climate protection policy with the goal of climate neutrality. International obligations from the Paris Climate Agreement and scientific findings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) play a central role in the climate protection obligations that the Federal Constitutional Court has been drawn from the Basic Law.

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The scope of the spectacular Climate Decision is still heavily debated, but it is already clear that the First Senate of the Federal Constitutional Court has set standards for climate protection through legal action wit.

In the Sustainability Monitor, we provide information about the international implications of the Karlsruhe Climate Decision and the potential impact of the decision on other legal systems. With the decision, the Federal Constitutional Court emphatically reaffirmed its claim to adapt the interpretation of the Basic Law to global challenges. At the same time, it has set incentives for a cross-border dialogue about an ambitious, judicially guided and controlled transnational climate policy.

The Karlsruhe Court also emphatically focused on the younger generation and the protection of their basic rights. Now it depends on whether and how other courts react. Will they be inspired by Karlsruhe or will they distance themselves from the Constituational Court? Effective climate protection, as the Federal Constitutional Court wants to promote, depends on additional players. This monitor would also like to raise awareness of this.
Read it here as a PDF.

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Marie-Sophie Lanig

Portrait von Marie-Sophie Lanig

Law and Policy +49 30 26996 3760
Sustainability Monitor
Vereinte Nationen
March 30, 2021
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About this series

The publications of the Sustainability Monitor are part of our Monitor publication series. The Monitor series deals with one main topic at a time from the perspective of KAS experts and places it in the political and social context on the basis of a few key points.