Notable wins in the climate and environmental justice space to inspire us in our fight for a better, greener, and fairer world for all.

Switzerland – Historic court win confirms that climate protection is a human right

Swiss Senior Women for Climate Protection Verdict at ECHR. © Shervine Nafissi / Greenpeace
The Swiss Senior Women for Climate Protection wins their action against Switzerland before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) for pursuing an inadequate climate policy and thus violating human rights. 

The Association of Senior Women for Climate Protection Switzerland, also known as the KlimaSeniorinnen, took action against their country,  Switzerland, for violating the seniors’ human rights by failing to set sufficient climate targets. On 9 April, they received the landmark decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), achieving a herstoric victory for all generations. 

The Grand Chamber of the Court ruled that Switzerland is violating the human rights of the older women because the state is not taking the necessary steps to combat global warming. It found that Switzerland had failed to comply with its duties under the Convention concerning climate change and must now set climate targets based on science. 

The ruling is an iconic moment for climate justice globally, confirming that climate protection is a human right.

France – TotalEnergies loses SLAPP lawsuit against Greenpeace France

TotalEnergies Headquarters in Paris. © Elsa Palito / Greenpeace
Oil and gas giant TotalEnergies has its head office in the Total tower in La Défense district in Courbevoie, west of Paris. © Elsa Palito / Greenpeace

On 28 March 2024, the court ruled in favour of Greenpeace France, nullifying the SLAPP procedure that TotalEnergies had initiated against it. Since April 2023, Greenpeace France has been fighting the SLAPP lawsuit which TotalEnergies had brought against it after the release of its report, which questioned the oil company’s carbon footprint. 

In a sweet turn of events, the judgement came as the oil and gas giant celebrated its 100th anniversary. Furthermore, TotalEnergies is ordered to pay 15,000 euros to Greenpeace France for costs incurred for the procedure.

This is a huge victory for Greenpeace France, but also for freedom of speech and the entire climate movement. The voices of NGOs are vital and must be protected against attacks from the fossil fuel industry. It’s also a victory for climate justice! This decision proves that oil and gas companies are not as untouchable as they would have us believe.

Brazil – Bolsonaro’s administration ruled to have actively promoted massive violation of socio-environmental rights in the Amazon

Aerial View of Amazon Coast Expedition in Brazil © Enrico Marone / Greenpeace. © Enrico Marone / Greenpeace
A view of the Amazon coast.

In a landmark decision on March 14, Brazil’s Supreme Court ruled that Bolsonaro’s administration has actively promoted massive violation of socio-environmental rights in the Amazon. The decision was delivered as part of the hearing for the ADPF 760 case (ADPF stands for Argument for Failure to comply with a Fundamental Precept, in its acronym in Portuguese), which seeks to challenge the dismantling of socio-environmental policies under Bolsonaro and demand urgent measures to address the escalating environmental crisis.

The decision represents a critical victory for Brazilian civil society, with Greenpeace Brazil playing a pivotal role alongside other partners in building and advancing this case over the past few years. The decision mandates compliance with climate change targets, while ruling that sufficient and effective measures must be taken to safeguard the environment and protect against deforestation. 

Indonesia/South Korea – Coal-powered metals deal dropped thanks to K-pop fan power

Coal Protest at Adaro Office in Jakarta. © Veri Sanovri / Greenpeace
Coal protest at Adaro office in Jakarta.

Thanks to an international climate campaign by K-pop fans, Hyundai announced that it was ending its memorandum of understanding (MoU) agreement to purchase aluminium from the Adaro Minerals smelter project in North Kalimantan, Indonesia. The climate campaign, backed by K-pop fans, urged the car manufacturer not to procure supplies of the metal produced using coal power.

It is an exciting victory for Indonesia’ energy transition to cleaner and greener solutions using people power!

Austria – European Gas Conference postponed indefinitely due to announced protests

EU Gas Conference Banner Action in Vienna. © Mitja  Kobal / Greenpeace
Climbers from Greenpeace Central and Eastern Europe hang an  “End Fossil Crimes” banner on the European Gas Conference venue in Vienna in 2023 to protest industry plans to greenwash fossil gas.

People power pushed the climate-wrecking gas lobby out of Vienna! The European Gas Conference, an annual meeting of representatives of major fossil fuel companies, financiers and selected politicians in Vienna, which was due to take place in March, has been postponed indefinitely in response to the protests that had been announced against it.

Last year, thousands of people took action against the European Gas Conference at a civil society counter-conference, a series of direct actions and blockades and in a public march. Greenpeace Central and Eastern Europe activists joined forces with the movement, including allies from Don’t Gas Africa, and dropped a banner demanding “End Fossil Crimes” from the hotel where the conference took place.

This is a victory for the movement to end fossil gas, improve energy efficiency and speed up the transition to renewable energy for all. Neither in Vienna nor anywhere else should fossil fuel lobbyists be able to meet to plot the destruction of our planet behind closed doors. 

Nigeria – Single-use plastic ban in Lagos

Art Installation at Gigiri Courtyard in Kenya. © Greenpeace / Natanya Harrington
A resounding call for a Global Plastics Treaty that must cut plastic production by at least 75% by 2040.

Nigeria is doing its bit to curb plastic waste by banning styrofoam and single-use in Lagos. Plastics are a blight on the city’s landscape, clogging up gutters and waterways, and contributing to its pollution problems. Business distributors and producers are legally required to source for reusable alternatives. 

At least 34 African countries have an existing ban or laws restricting the use of plastics. In most instances, enforcement of bans remains a challenge. And while a ban on single-use plastics is always welcomed, the industry has to cut plastic production at source in order to truly stem the tide of plastic pollution. Greenpeace is calling for a Global Plastics Treaty that mandates a 75% reduction in plastic production. 

Bulgaria – Court rules coal plant violates environmental standards

After a long 5-year legal battle led by Greenpeace Bulgaria, an administrative court has ruled that Maritsa Iztok 2 coal plant violates environmental standards. If the judgement is confirmed by the supreme administrative court, the biggest and only state-owned coal plant in the country will have to comply with pollution requirements in order to continue operation.

The current ruling comes as the most serious of many wake-up calls for politicians, trade unions and workers in the past years: the energy transition is happening and there is no turning back, we might as well plan to do it right. 

The Netherlands – One of Europe’s largest gas fields permanently closed

On 16 April, the Dutch Senate approved a law to permanently close the Groningen gas field. One of Europe’s largest gas fields, years of extraction has been linked to earthquakes, causing damage to homes, health problems, and deaths. Fossil gas, like oil and coal, is destructive and belongs to the past.

The Netherlands – End to dirty sponsorships AND dirty investments

Climate March in Rotterdam, Netherlands. © Bart Hoogveld / Greenpeace
Thousands of people take to the streets of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in the Climate March to demand greener and fairer climate policy in 2021.

We are excited to announce the end of sponsorship deals between KLM and running event Urban Trail, as well as the end of KLM’s Frequent Flyer dinner sponsorship at Amsterdam’s film museum Eye. Greenpeace Netherlands has been campaigning against fossil advertising, including from the aviation industry, and this is only the tip of the greenwashing iceberg.

Furthermore, on 20 March, a Dutch court had ruled that KLM had misled customers with an advertising campaign aimed at improving the company’s environmental image, in a case of greenwashing. While no punishment was meted out, it is still a landmark decision that puts environmental claims under greater scrutiny.

To top it off, PFZW, one of the largest Dutch pension funds and a fund for healthcare workers, announced in March that they will divest most of their funds from fossil fuels. Together with an alliance of different grassroots climate groups and NGOs, Greenpeace Netherlands have been campaigning extensively against the fund’s involvement in fossil fuels.

India – The Supreme Court rules that citizens have a fundamental right to be free from the adverse effects of climate change

Climate Strike in Patna, India. © Greenpeace
Climate marches and protests in Patna, India. © Greenpeace

2023 was a year of extreme weather in India, endangering lives, and destroying homes and livelihoods.⁣ The Supreme Court of India ruled that the states owe a duty of care to their citizens to uphold their right to a healthy, clean environment. It is critical for India to have policies and laws that allow adaptation measures and increase resilience of the most marginalised groups.⁣

Climate Walk in Manila © Nathaniel Garcia / Greenpeace
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