Sat. Nov 27th, 2021

Lawsuit could reduce car giant’s CO2 emissions by two gigatons over the next two decades if successful, the NGO said.

A young German climate activist and the heads of Greenpeace Germany have sued Volkswagen (VW) in a German court for “fueling the climate crisis”, accusing the carmaker of not doing its part to combat global warming.

The plaintiffs – Clara Mayer and the NGO – gave the German carmaker eight weeks to consider their claims before filing the lawsuit in Braunschweig Regional Court on Tuesday.

Among their calls were two targets for 2030 – ending production of internal combustion engines and reducing carbon emissions by at least 65 percent from 2018 levels.

VW rejected the claims on October 28, Reuters reported.

Martin Kaiser, Greenpeace Germany’s executive director, said carmakers such as VW “must take responsibility and act much faster to phase out the highly polluting internal combustion engine, and degas their activities without further delay”.

“Negotiations at COP26 in Glasgow indicate that the 1.5-degree target is at stake and can only be achieved with a bold change of course in politics and business,” Kaiser said in a statement, citing the ongoing UN summit on climate change aimed at curbing. the rise in average global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) compared to pre-industrial levels.

“But while people are suffering from floods and droughts caused by the climate crisis, CO2 emissions from transportation are still increasing,” he said.

If the lawsuit is successful, two gigatons less CO2 will be released by 2040 compared to VW’s current plans, Greenpeace Germany said.

This equates to more than twice the annual global aviation emissions, according to the NGO.

VW told Reuters that it “stands for climate protection and the carbon emissions of the transport sector, but it can not tackle this challenge alone”.

“The task of designing appropriate measures belongs to Parliament. “Civil court disputes through lawsuits against exceptional companies are not the place or way to do justice to this task of great responsibility.”

A similar case was filed against BMW and Daimler by the heads of the German environmental organization Deutsche Umwelthilfe in September, when both companies also rejected claims to end production of fossil fuel-based cars by 2030 and limit CO2 emissions before then. .

Germany’s district court must weigh whether that case should be taken forward, and any possible decision could be years away.

The lawsuits are based on two previous climate-related lawsuits. In May 2020, a German ruling said the country was failing to protect future generations from the effects of climate change.

In the same month, a Dutch ruling ordered the oil company Shell to reduce its emissions, the first time a private company has been held responsible for its impact on the climate.

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