Should climate change be illegal? If so, how do you go about defining the rules and can you make failing to act on climate change a legal matter? This is the question Danish and French lawmakers are planning to address.
In Denmark, the Climate Act, which proposes a reduction in emissions by 70% on 1990 levels, maybe the answer.
The law, which came into effect in June 2020, aims to provide an enduring solution to the issue of climate change by ensuring the “the government will need to find a majority parliamentary approval of its global and national climate strategies,” explains the BBC in the article The law that could make climate change illegal. Without that majority approval, it could theoretically lead to the government having to step down.
Of course, as has been seen previously, laws can be changed as new incumbents make their mark, and policies change along with political focuses. However, in Denmark 95% of the parliament supported the law, mitigating the risk of it being changed in the future (in Denmark anyway).
I am not going to recap the entire story, but it is interesting that this is the second European country in as many weeks to support harsh measures to combat climate change. In France, President Emmanuel Macron has proposed a law making harming the environment tantamount to ‘ecocide’, ensuring that extensive damage caused to ecosystems would be classified as an offence punishable by law.
I realise that the climate change battle may well have lost some of its momentum in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, but this issue is not going to go away because it has been pushed off the front pages of the newspaper by ‘more pressing’ concerns.
Like it or not – we will have to deal with the climate change issue sooner, rather than later, and while the suggestions above may seem heavy-handed to some of our readers, there is something to be said for the fact that political will is finally doing more than just playing lip service to addressing climate change.
Yes, it is likely that some of the proposals are going to impact consumers financially – always a bitter pill for everyone to swallow – but the impacts of doing nothing, or doing a half-hearted job, will impact the entire world far more, for far longer.
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What happens when you start taking the cost of cleaning up after climate change-induced extreme weather events, or the rise in health-related issues into account? Does the cost of addressing – aggressively – the climate issue take on a different financial perspective?
Do we swallow the pill now with a plan for a better future, or do we end up in a situation where wearing a mask in public will seem like a pleasant memory of better days?
What do you think? Are climate change supporters hysterical and in need of a good reality-check? Or do we need to press our political leaders to take more action, more often to avert a disaster?
We are always interested in your opinion – write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments on this or other news items covered by Smart Energy International.
Wishing you a sunny week!
Until next time!