Constitutional Complaint

The Federal Constitutional Court confirms basic right to future in its decision.

Groundbreaking decision of the Federal Constitutional Court: the current climate protection law violates fundamental rights of today's young and future generations and must be improved.

Germanwatch, Greenpeace and Protect the Planet supported the young plaintiffs.

FAQs / Background information Constitutional complaint


1. What did the Federal Constitutional Court decide?

2. Why is the decision historic?

3. What happens after the court decision?

4. What is the background of the lawsuit?

5. What exactly happened in the legal process?

6. Who are the plaintiffs and to what extent are they affected by the climate crisis?

7. What role did Germanwatch play in the lawsuit?

8. Are there more legal actions around the world for more climate protection?

9. How should the decision of the European Court of Justice in the People's Climate Case be assessed in light of the Federal Constitutional Court ruling?

10. Which other climate lawsuits does Germanwatch support?

11. How can I support Germanwatch?

News and publications on the constitutional complaint

Press Release
Federal Constitutional Court of Germany declares Federal Climate Protection Act partially unconstitutional and strengthens protection of fundamental rights of the youth.

In its decision today, the Federal Constitutional Court has largely accepted the constitutional complaint of nine young people for a humane future: Freedoms and fundamental rights are already being violated today by insufficient climate protection. The legislator must adapt the Federal Climate Protection Act by the end of 2022. Lawyer Dr. Roda Verheyen (Hamburg), who represents the young people, comments on the decision: "Today, the Federal Constitutional Court has set a globally remarkable new standard for climate protection as a human right.

Against the background of the worsening climate crisis, the Climate Action Network (CAN) has launched the #WorldWeWant campaign. Through a series of short films, people from different regions of the world tell how climate change is affecting their lives and communities. Plaintiff Lüke Recktenwald is also involved with a video about his home island Langeoog.
Lüke Recktenwald from the North Sea island Langeoog is committed to climate protection at home and in court.
Lüke Recktenwald is a real "islander". His family has been living on the North Sea island of Langeoog for four generations and runs a hotel and restaurant. Whether Lüke will be able to live and work on the island in the future like his parents is uncertain, as Langeoog is increasingly threatened by the climate crisis. In this interview he tells how he experiences the climate and health crisis on the island and why he decided to go to court to demand climate protection.

Anyone who violates another person’s fundamental rights by emitting greenhouse gases bears a double legal duty: First, to put a stop to this harm so that the (fundamental) rights of others are not undermined. Second, polluters have to account for the protection of those at risk as well as the damages that still occur. In order to enforce these legal obligations in Germany and internationally, Germanwatch supports three climate lawsuits.

Donation Button: Donate now

Videos on the constitutional complaint