Greenpeace Germany Sues Volkswagen for Failing to Help Stop Climate Change
Volkswagen, the famous German car manufacturer, has been sued in a German court by Clara Mayer, an environmental activist and the heads of Greenpeace Germany. Volkswagen is being accused of not doing enough to combat climate change.
Mayer and Greenpeace Germany gave Volkswagen a list of demands before filing the lawsuit. One demand was to terminate the production of internal combustion engine cars by 2030. They are also demanding a reduction of Volkswagen’s carbon emissions by at least 65% from their 2018 numbers until 2030.
Volkswagen was given eight weeks to consider the demands and the auto manufacturer promptly rejected them.
A Volkswagen spokesperson told Reuters that “Volkswagen stands for climate protection and decarbonizing the transport sector, but it cannot tackle this challenge alone,” and “The task of designing appropriate measures belongs to Parliament. Civil court disputes through lawsuits against singled-out companies are not the place or way to do justice to this task of great responsibility.”
A similar lawsuit was filed in September by the heads of the German environmental organization Deutsche Umwelthilfe. The lawsuit was filed against other German car manufacturers, BMW and Daimler. Both companies were given similar demands to Volkswagen, and both also rejected the demands.
The Greenpeace Germany lawsuit draws from two recent climate cases in Germany. The first was a ruling in May 2020 that Germany was failing to protect future generations from climate change and its consequences. The second ruling was when a Dutch court ordered the oil company; Royal Dutch Shell PLC (Shell) to reduce its CO2 emissions. It was a landmark climate case and was the first time a court has ordered a company to reduce emissions or face consequences.
Volkswagen announced back in June that they will phase out of internal combustion engine vehicles in Europe by 2035.