Tuesday September 26, 2023

French NGOs sue state over pesticide use

June 02, 2023

PARIS: A coalition of French environmental charities on Thursday accused the French state of negligence in regulating the use of pesticides, in a landmark legal case. The five organisations allege the French state is indirectly responsible for the sharp decline in insect, bird and other animal populations which an increasing body of scientific research shows is linked to pesticide use and intensive farming.

In a first court hearing at the Paris administrative court, the NGOs received an initial boost, with the public rapporteur suggesting judges confirm several faults on the part of the state, The rapporteur suggested ordering the government “to put an end to all the shortcomings that we have identified and take all useful measures to repair the resulting ecological damage”.

The conclusions of the rapporteur are often -- but not always followed by the judges -- and it will now be some two weeks before their final ruling. Similar action against the French state for failing to prevent air pollution or respect its own climate change targets have been successful in recent years, with environmental groups turning to legal activism across Europe to hold governments to account.