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Verfassungsfragen zivilrechtlicher Klagen zur Durchsetzung von Klimaschutzzielen journal article

Klaus Ferdinand Gärditz

Zeitschrift für Europäisches Umwelt- und Planungsrecht, Volume 20 (2022), Issue 1, Page 45 - 73

While protecting the world climate became an abstractly undisputed objective of modern environmental policy almost worldwide, the specific tools to achieve the climate protection goals – as inherent in the Paris Treaty – are still controversial. From realignment of energy production and its sources to energy saving, there are a lot of different means, in particular, of administrative law to promote the reduction of climate gases. In addition to public legislation protecting the world climate various environmental activist groups in different countries proceeded to private law litigation suing energy producing companies for damages. Recently, the first steps towards private law climate litigation have been taken, in Germany. The following analysis, based on an expertise produced by the author, discusses the constitutional limits and restraints put on private law courts to grant compensation, in particular, with regard to climate gases legally emitted over the last 70 years.

Landesrechtliche Abweichungen von der Bundeskom­pen­sationsverordnung als föderales Verfassungsproblem journal article

Klaus Ferdinand Gärditz

Zeitschrift für Europäisches Umwelt- und Planungsrecht, Volume 18 (2020), Issue 4, Page 367 - 378

In 2006, the German federalism reform has reshaped the architecture of legislative competences, which are accurately distributed between the Federation (Bund) and the constituent States (Länder). The former framework competence was abolished and replaced by a competing legislative competence of the Federation pursuant to Article 72 of the Basic Law (Grundgesetz, i.e. the Constitution). In some areas – like in nature conservation law – the constituent states can overrule federal legislation by replacing federal statutory law with state law. Recently, some constituent states moved preventively and empowered their governments to enact ordinances, outlawing future federal legislation regarding the compensation of infringements in nature and landscape, an elaborate mechanism developed by German federal law. This analysis – which is based on a legal expert opinion for the federal administration – discusses whether such preventive blanket empowerments of state governments remain within the constitutional competences vested in the states.

Umwelt-Aufklärung der Öffentlichkeit als wissenschaftliche Wahrheitspflege? journal article

Klaus Ferdinand Gärditz

Zeitschrift für Europäisches Umwelt- und Planungsrecht, Volume 15 (2017), Issue 2, Page 112 - 125

In 2013, the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) published a brochure, which outlines the contemporary results of scientific research in climate change, thereby countering common arguments of climate change sceptics. The UBA explicitly named some more or less popular climate change sceptics and their publications and branded them as irrational, unscientific, and irrelevant. Their contribution to a ‘post-factual discourse’ was pseudo-science, incompatible with the overwhelming majority of scientists’ results on climate change research. Two affected journalists whose (rather bizarre) popular science publications, which argued against anthropogenic climate change, fought back and filed a lawsuit against the UBA to desist from publicly discrediting their publications. The Administrative Appeals Tribunal of Saxony-Anhalt – as court of last resort – has recently quashed the lawsuit. The court affirms that presenting the right scientific facts about climate change publicly was part of the public relations work of the agency according to statutory law. In contrast, the review essay argues that a state agency is, due to the freedom of scientific research, simply not competent to evaluate scientific truth and to denounce scientifically pariahs as charlatanry publicly and officially.

Ökoraumrecht: Umweltschutz durch rechtliche Raumstrukturierung journal article

Klaus Ferdinand Gärditz

Zeitschrift für Europäisches Umwelt- und Planungsrecht, Volume 14 (2016), Issue 4, Page 290 - 299

The contribution in honour of Reiner Schmidt discusses whether there is a specific set of rules constituting a law of eco-spatial planning. Within the statutory law affecting regional planning, town and county planning, and conservation of nature, legal instruments address the structuring of space to protect the environment, the ecosystem, and the interconnection of biotopes. A coherent body of rules of eco-spatial planning requires the procedural construction of an image of ecological space.