Green Campaigners Target Volkswagen

Wed 15th Sep 2021

A landmark court case in Germany has seen one of the world’s leading environmental groups go head-to-head with one of the planet's biggest car brands, accusing them of breaking climate laws and endangering the planet.

Greenpeace is using newly introduced legislation in Germany to sue Volkswagen for failing to sufficiently decarbonise their company. The law, which changed in April of this year, says that future generations can be protected by law when it comes to climate protection. 

Volkswagen are accused of failing to meet the Paris climate goals of keeping global warming to just 1.5°C, either in their current or future strategy. In a letter to the company, Greenpeace say that Volkswagen must reduce the number of internal combustion engines immediately.

The case follows a similar ruling made in Holland where Shell oil were ordered to do more to protect the environment.

Martin Kaiser, executive director of Greenpeace Germany, said: “While people suffer from floods and droughts triggered by the climate crisis, the car industry, despite its enormous contribution to global warming, seems unaffected.

“The ruling of the Constitutional Court represents a mandate to quickly and effectively enforce the legal protection of our common livelihoods. We need all hands on deck to protect our common future.’

Clara Mayer, plaintiff against Volkswagen and climate protection activist, added: “Climate protection is a constitutional right. It is not acceptable that a company should so significantly prevent us from reaching our climate targets.

“At the moment, Volkswagen is making huge profits by producing climate-damaging cars, which we will have to pay dearly for in the form of climate consequences. The basic rights of future generations are in danger, as we are already seeing the effects of the climate crisis. The begging and pleading has come to an end, it is time to hold Volkswagen legally responsible.”