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Climate Change-related Aarhus Conflicts: How Successful are Procedural Rights in EU Climate Law?

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Abstract

This article provides insights into the consequences of the Aarhus Convention in the field of European Union (EU) climate change law. It discusses climate change cases concerning environmental procedural rights that are decided by the Court of Justice of the EU and the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee (ACCC). Regarding access to environmental information, cases reveal reluctance on the part of governments to provide climate-related information. Regarding public participation, the ACCC has illustrated that the EU Renewable Energy Directive falls short in light of the Aarhus Convention. Given the need to adopt even more stringent measures to reduce greenhouse gases, more case law is expected. A systematic analysis of case law will help us to understand to what extent EU climate policy complies with the Aarhus Convention. Such an analysis will also show what lessons can be learned from the Aarhus Convention for putting the procedural provisions of the UNFCCC into practice.

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