Skip to content

The German Federal Constitutional Court's Decision on the Climate Change Act

Ralph Bodle, Stephan Sina


The German Federal Constitutional Court's decision of March 2021 declared the Climate Change Act partially unconstitutional because it did not sufficiently protect fundamental rights. While the Court upheld the Act's objective of climate neutrality by 2050 and emission budgets until 2030, it held that the Climate Change Act violated fundamental rights for the time after 2030: The specific emissions budgets until 2030 entailed that strict measures would likely be required after 2030 in order to achieve climate neutrality. The Climate Change Act failed to sufficiently address in advance how this would affect individual freedoms. We provide an overview of the main findings of the decision as well as the ensuing amendments to the Climate Change Act, which were passed within just a few months after the decision and are subject to new constitutional challenges.

Ralph Bodle, Senior Fellow, Ecologic Institute, Berlin, Germany; Stephan Sina, Senior Fellow, Ecologic Institute, specialist lawyer (Fachanwalt) in administrative law. The authors would like to thank Georgia Kircher at Ecologic Institute for valuable research for this article. For Correspondence: <>


Lx-Number Search

(e.g. A | 000123 | 01)

Export Citation