The court ruled that the state has displayed “non-respect of its engagements” to combat global warming.
“This is an historic win for climate justice,” said Jean- François Julliard, the executive director of Greenpeace France. “The decision not only takes into consideration what scientists say and what people want from French public policies, but it should also inspire people all over the world to hold their governments accountable for climate change in their courts.”
Julliard believed the court ruling would push the government to finally take action, the Guardian reported.
The Paris Agreement, signed five years ago, aimed to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
As punishment, the courts ordered the French state to pay the symbolic sum of 1 euro in compensation – a common practice in France – according to France 24.
Former President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the deal, with then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo maintaining that the U.S. was on track to achieve the goals even without membership.
“Our results speak for themselves,” Pompeo wrote in a statement as the U.S. began to withdraw from the agreement. “U.S. emissions of criteria air pollutants that impact human health and the environment declined by 74% between 1970 and 2018. U.S. net greenhouse gas emissions dropped 13% from 2005-2017, even as our economy grew over 19%.”
Experts say governments have not done enough to keep up their commitments to the agreement, and many have seen courts as a means of pushing governments to act.
President Joe Biden committed to rejoining the Paris Agreement, signing an executive order on the day of his inauguration to that end. Biden then promptly canceled the Keystone XL Pipeline, sacrificing over 11,000 jobs in the process.
Fox News’ Tyler Olsen contributed to this report.