Climate Change Litigation: German Family Farmers and Urgenda - Similar Cases, Differing Judgments

Research output: Journal contributionsJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


In the Dutch Urgenda and the German Family Farmers' cases, the claimants sued the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, according to their national programmes. On the Dutch side, the claimants won in three instances up to the Supreme Court, while they lost at the German Administration Court of Berlin. A main factual difference between the two situations is that in the Netherlands, the Dutch government had, to a certain extent, withdrawn from its initial positions on climate policy. The judgments show that climate change litigation is necessary to gain progress towards a greater understanding of state institution roles in addressing the global threat of climate change, culminating in a better fulfilment of climate change goals.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal for European Environmental & Planning Law
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)322-332
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 10.07.2020

    Research areas

  • Climate Change Act, climate change goals, climate change litigation, human rights, Urgenda
  • Law