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German Public Law Professor: Climate Crisis ‘Requires Freedom-Limiting Measures’ – ‘Fight against the virus’ is model for climate fight

By P Gosselin

Dictatorship for a good cause…the march to tyranny: The public can be convinced “to accept even the most serious encroachments on fundamental rights,” writes a German public law professor, state high court judge at his blog.

Like the corona crisis, in the face of the climate crisis it’s time to seriously encroach on fundamental rights, says a German public law professor. Image: Leuphana University of Lüneburg

Germany, true to its DNA, is once again gravitating towards dictatorial rule. A number of leading figures are praising the corona restrictions as an example of what needs to be done to fight the climate crisis.

One example figure is German public law professor Thomas Schomerus, who writes at his blog that “lessons for the climate crisis can be drawn from the corona crisis.”

Make people fear for their lives, the German federal judge and law professor implies.

“Make public accept “even the most serious encroachments”

The only thing that is needed for the public acceptance of “stringent measures”, says Schomerus is communication made “in a transparent, comprehensible, science-based and multimedia-based manner”.

If this is done, he writes, “the population will be prepared to accept even the most serious encroachments on fundamental rights.”

Just as convincing as the fear of death

He writes that the concern about the future of children and grandchildren “can be just as convincing” as the fear of death by the Corona virus.

Schmoerus at his blog expresses that the current collapse of global air travel and massive economic slowdown – which involves millions of unemployed – as a positive thing for the environment and thus similar restrictions should be kept in place even after the corona crisis subsides.

“The fight against the virus can set an example in the fight against global warming,” he claims.

Climate crisis requires “freedom-limiting measures”

Schomerus, a specialist for public law for energy and environmental law, asks at his blog why the government doesn’t take the same strict action against climate that it is now taking against the Corona virus. He adds:

Both the corona crisis and the climate crisis require freedom-limiting measures. The earlier and more vigorously these are defined and implemented, the sooner the success that is vital for survival can be expected. In this respect, corona and climate protection measures do not differ in principle, but only on the time axis. The following also applies to climate protection: the earlier and the more far-reaching they are taken, the lower the ecological, economic and social follow-up costs.”

According to his blog, Thomas Schomerus is Professor of Public Law for Energy and Environmental Law at the Faculty of Sustainability, Leuphana University Lueneburg and Judge at the Higher Public Administration Court for Lower Saxony.