Climate change: Is the Dutch court ruling 'a game changer'?
By Helen Briggs
It reads like the script of a movie. Climate change campaigners go to court to force their government to take tougher action on greenhouse gas emissions.But it became reality in a Dutch court on Wednesday, when a judge ruled that The Netherlands must do more to combat the threat of climate change.
As a low-lying country, the country is particularly vulnerable to flooding with around half of its territory - where much of its population lives - below sea level.
An effort is underway to upgrade the thousands of miles of dykes and dams that act as flood defences.
As the planet warms, scientists say these will no longer be able to hold up against rising sea levels.
And campaigners Urgenda, who brought the case, accuse the government of putting too much emphasis on mitigation rather than meeting international obligations to tackle greenhouse gas emissions.
The court said that the Dutch Government's current plan to reduce emissions by 17% by 2020 was less than the 25-40% international norm for industrialised nations.
Under the ruling, The Netherlands has to cut emissions by at least a quarter on 1990 levels by 2020.