Language of document :

Appeal brought on 23 July 2019 by Armando Carvalho and Others against the order of the General Court (Second Chamber) delivered on 8 May 2019 in Case T-330/18: Carvalho and Others v Parliament and Council

(Case C-565/19 P)

Language of the case: English


Appellants: Armando Carvalho and Others (represented by: G. Winter, Professor, R. Verheyen, Rechtsanwältin, H. Leith, Barrister)

Other parties to the proceedings: European Parliament, Council of the European Union

Form of order sought

The appellants claim that the Court should:

set aside the order under appeal;

declare that the applications are admissible;

refer the case back to the General Court to determine the merits of the application for annulment;

refer the case back to the General Court to determine the merits of the application invoking the non-contractual liability of the Union; and

order the respondents to pay the costs of the appeal and the costs of the proceedings before the General Court.

Pleas in law and main arguments

The appellants appeal against the General Court’s decision to dismiss their applications as inadmissible on the following grounds.

First ground: The General Court erred in finding that the appellants do not satisfy the principles stated in the Plaumann case law for establishing individual concern. The three acts on greenhouse emission gases1 2 3 allow emissions that affect each appellant in a distinctive factual way. In addition, the Plaumann test is met because the three greenhouse emission gases acts infringe personal fundamental rights of the appellants.

Second ground: In the alternative, the General Court erred in not adapting the Plaumann test in light of the compelling challenge of climate change and the foundation of the appellants’ case in their individual fundamental rights, including a guarantee of effective legal protection of those rights. The CJEU has held that for a right to be effective it must be accompanied by a remedy and the General Court erred in finding that national courts (and the preliminary reference procedure under Article 267 TFEU) or an action challenging implementing acts by the Commission would provide an adequate system of remedies in this case.

This Court should accordingly hold that where (as here) no other effective legal remedy is available to protect an applicant’s fundamental rights, the requirement of “individual concern” is established where it is alleged and substantiated that a legislative act encroaches on a personal fundamental right of the applicant to a serious degree, or alternatively, interferes with the essence of the right. This requirement was met here.

Third ground: Further to grounds 1 and 2, the General Court erred in denying that the Saminuorra association (association of young Sami) had standing, by disregarding (without explanation) the evidence showing that the majority of members of the association are individually concerned and would have standing in their own right. In the alternative, the Court should have relaxed the criteria for establishing the locus standi in the case of associations representing an indigenous community.

Fourth ground: In dismissing the application for non-contractual liability as inadmissible, the General Court applied the wrong legal test, by introducing a new requirement for applicants to establish that they would have standing for the purposes of Article 263 TFEU. This requirement has no support in the text of the Treaty or the case law.


1 Directive (EU) 2018/410 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 March 2018 amending Directive 2003/87/EC to enhance cost-effective emission reductions and low-carbon investments, and Decision (EU) 2015/1814 (OJ 2018, L 76, p. 3).

2 Regulation (EU) 2018/841 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018 on the inclusion of greenhouse gas emissions and removals from land use, land use change and forestry in the 2030 climate and energy framework, and amending Regulation (EU) No 525/2013 and Decision No 529/2013/EU (OJ 2018, L 156, p. 1).

3 Regulation (EU) 2018/842 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018 on binding annual greenhouse gas emission reductions by Member States from 2021 to 2030 contributing to climate action to meet commitments under the Paris Agreement and amending Regulation (EU) No 525/2013 (OJ 2018, L 156, p. 26).