Volkswagen Sued by Greenpeace Germany Over Supposedly Lazy Emissions Targets

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Greenpeace Germany has sued Volkswagen in a German court, claiming that the carmaker isn’t doing enough to fight climate change. The NGO has given VW eight weeks to consider their demands, which include the latter ending production of its internal combustion engine cars by 2030 and reducing carbon emissions by at least 65% compared to 2018 levels.
The Wolfsburg-based brand has already rejected those demands and stated the following to Reuters: “Volkswagen stands for climate protection and decarbonizing the transport sector, but it cannot tackle this challenge alone,” said a spokesperson.

“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 for great responsibility.”

This is a similar lawsuit to the one filed back in September by German environmental organization Deutsche Umwelthilfe against BMW and Daimler – both those carmakers also rejected demands to end production of their internal combustion engine cars by 2030.

There are however multiple precedents that should give NGOs like Greenpeace Germany hope in their battle for a cleaner environment.

In May of last year, a German court ruled that the country was failing to protect future generations from the consequences of climate change. Perhaps an even stronger example was set in the Netherlands, with a Dutch court ordering Shell to reduce its emissions. It was the first time that a private company was being held responsible for the way it’s been impacting the climate.

The European Union has already proposed an ICE ban for 2035, but some NGOs feel as though that’s not good enough, especially if you’re going by the goals of the Paris climate accords and German climate law. As of right now, we’d be surprised if either BMW, Daimler or VW managed to completely ditch their internal combustion engines within the next 9 or so years.
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About the author: Sergiu Tudose
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Sergiu got to experience both American and European car "scenes" at an early age (his father drove a Ford Fiesta XR2 supermini in the 80s). After spending over 15 years at local and international auto publications, he's starting to appreciate comfort behind the wheel more than raw power and acceleration.
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