Greenpeace Germany Sues Volkswagen

Car giant slashed for CO2 emissions.


A German climate activist and the heads of Greenpeace Germany have sued Volkswagen (VW) in a German court for “fuelling the climate crisis”, accusing the carmaker of failing to do its part to combat global warming.

Clara Mayer and the NGO – gave the German carmaker eight weeks to consider their demands before filing the lawsuit on Tuesday at the regional Court of Braunschweig.

The claimants want VW to end production of combustion-engine cars by 2030 and reduce carbon emissions by at least 65 percent from 2018 levels by then.

VW rejected the demands on October 28.

A spokesperson said in a comment to Reuters, that "Volkswagen stands for climate protection and decarbonising the transport sector, but it cannot tackle this challenge alone." 

Greenpeace Germany’s executive director Martin Kaiser, said car manufacturers such as VW “need to take responsibility and act much faster to phase out the highly-polluting internal combustion engine, and decarbonise their activities with no further delay”.

Further citing, that “negotiations at COP26 in Glasgow indicate that the 1.5-degree target is at stake and can only be met with a bold change of course in politics and business.”

Kaiser continued saying “but while people suffer from floods and droughts triggered by the climate crisis, CO2 emissions from transport continue to rise.”

If the lawsuit is successful, two gigatonnes less CO2 will be emitted by 2040 compared with VW’s current plans, Greenpeace Germany said.

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

The lawsuits draw on two prior climate-related cases: a German ruling in May 2020 that the country was failing to protect future generations from the consequences of climate change, and a Dutch ruling the same month ordering oil company Shell to reduce its emissions, the first time a private company was held responsible for its impact on the climate.


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