In January 2023, Declic (a prominent Romanian NGO) alongside a number of individuals initiated Romania’s first-ever climate lawsuit against the government, specifically targeting Prime Minister Nicoale Ciucă and the Ministers of Environment and Energy. The lawsuit alleges that the government has failed to implement adequate measures to address and mitigate the foreseeable risks associated with the climate crisis, violating its legal obligations under the Paris Agreement. The plaintiffs are seeking fines for each day of government inaction and demanding a court order mandating immediate and comprehensive actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, achieve climate neutrality by 2050, and increase the share of renewable energy in final energy consumption to 45% while improving energy efficiency by 13% by 2030.
The plaintiffs assert that the government is in breach of its duty of care by applying insufficient greenhouse gas reduction targets for 2030, falling well below the EU-wide reduction goal of 55% below 1990 levels. They argue that the absence of annual carbon budgets and mechanisms for monitoring and reporting progress towards climate goals hinders the meaningful assessment of the government’s measures to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Furthermore, the lawsuit questions whether the measures taken by the government are sufficient to prevent climate change from becoming dangerous to humanity and the environment, considering the discretionary power of the government. The plaintiffs also challenge whether the government’s climate mitigation and adaptation measures meet objective standards and pass reasonableness tests set by international bodies like the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Finally, the court is called upon to determine whether the government’s measures are compatible with the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Romanian Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights, including the right to life, privacy, property, health, and a healthy and ecologic environment.
The case documents are accessible via Climate Case Chart: Click here.
Status of the case:
The case is currently pending before the Cluj Court of Appeal of Romania.
Declic et al. v. The Romanian Government (Cluj Court of Appeal, Romania, filed January 2023).
03 November 2023.