Andrea De Petris

Scientific Director at the Center of European Politics Professor of Constitutional Law, University Giustino Fortunato in Benevento

This article examines the ruling by which the German Federal Constitutional Court declared on 24 March 2021 that certain provisions of the Climate Protection Act of 12 December 2019 (KSG) are unconstitutional. The national climate protection targets and the annual permissible emission volumes up to 2030 that the provision envisages were found to be incompatible with fundamental rights, as they lack sufficient requirements for further emission reductions from 2031 onwards. The ruling recognises that every freedom is potentially affected by these future emission reduction obligations because almost all areas of human life are still depending by the emission of greenhouse gases and are therefore threatened by drastic restrictions that could occur after 2030 according to the current regulation. The legislator should therefore have taken precautions to mitigate these high burdens in order to safeguard fundamental rights in an innovative ‘intertemporal’ perspective, and thus also adequately guarantee the rights of future generations.

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