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Netherlands ordered to cut gas emission in landmark court decision

Staff Writer |
The Hague Court of Appeal has ruled on Tuesday that the Dutch state must reduce the greenhouse emission of polluting gases by 25 percent by 2020 compared to the levels reached in the 1990s.

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According to various sources, the level now set is higher than the 17 percent fall by 2020 planned by the liberal administration of the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte.

With the ruling, the Hague Court took into account the lawsuit filed by the environmental defender ONG Urgenda, which represented around 900 Dutch citizens.

Speaking at the public hearing, Chief Justice Marie Anne Tan de Sonnaville said that the Dutch government has to protect populations from dangerous climate change, which is mainly influenced by greenhouse gas emissions.

Faced with the negative effects of climate change, there is growing concern in Dutch political and social circles that sea levels could rise from 2.5 to 3 metres at low altitudes until the end of the century, according to scientific predictions.

After the Court's ruling was released, the leader of the Dutch Green organization, Jesse Klaver, said the verdict is a landmark decision because the government must protect its citizens against climate change.

The ruling of the Court of Appeals in The Hague is issued just one day after UN climate change experts called on industrialized countries to urgently cut emissions of harmful gases that endanger human life.

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