Whilst no climate litigation has been brought by citizen(s) challenging project approval, the following grounds could form a basis;

  • Breach of environmental law: Section 3 (2)(1) Environmental Management Act of 2007 provides that one of principles of decision-making process is “damage to the environment must be prevented and activities which cause such damage must be reduced, limited or controlled”. Under this provision, it can be argued that climate change is a relevant consideration in decision-making processes, which could form a basis for challenging such projects.
  • Human Rights: Similar to point (iii) in scenario 1.

Standing: For human rights-based cases, standing is granted to “persons aggrieved” by alleged violation of fundamental rights. The Constitution does not define “aggrieved persons” and there is conflicting jurisprudence on whether it refers to the common law “direct and substantial interest” requirement or whether it is broad (see Maletzky and others v Attorney General and others holding that the constitution has not extended common law requirements of standing; Petroneft International Glencor Energy UK Ltd and Another v Minister of Mines and Energy and Uffindell t/a Aloe Hunting Safaris v Government of Namibia 2009(2) NR 670(HC) holding that a broad standing should be adopted in constitutional challenges).

For more country specific context and relevant national climate change law see: https://climate-laws.org/geographies/namibia

This country report has been produced by Lydia Omuko-Jung, C2LI Legal Analyst. The summary is based on Oliver C. Ruppel, “Country Report Namibia: Legal Climate Change Action and Constitutional Protection” in F. Sindico and M. Moise Mbengue, Comparative Climate Change Litigation: Beyond the Usual Suspects, Springer, 2021, in addition to further research conducted by Lydia Omuko-Jung, C2LI Legal Analyst.