German court rejects farmer's climate suit vs Volkswagen
BERLIN (AP) — A German court on Friday rejected a farmer's bid to force automaker Volkswagen to end the sale of vehicles with combustion engines by 2030.
In the case at the state court in the western town of Detmold, farmer Ulf Allhoff-Cramer said that drier soil and heavier rains because of climate change are harming his fields, cattle and commercial forests.
He argued that Volkswagen is partly to blame for that, as the mass production of vehicles running on gasoline contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere.
The court ruled that the suit was unfounded. It said that it couldn't establish that the alleged damage to the plaintiff's property, health and rights could be remedied by the measures he demanded alone.
Environmental group Greenpeace, which supports the case, has accused VW of relying on the arguments of climate change skeptics to avoid bringing forward its deadline for ending the sale of combustion engine vehicles from 2040.
The automaker has objected to the farmer’s claim that it could be directly linked to any climate-related damages he has suffered. VW also pointed to its major effort to shift production to electric vehicles in the coming years.
The head of Greenpeace Germany, Martin Kaiser, said that it would appeal the ruling. He said that the verdict was “disappointing.”
Greenpeace already plans to appeal in another case in which a court in Braunschweig earlier this month dismissed another civil lawsuit demanding that VW stop selling vehicles with combustion engines by 2030.
Follow all AP stories on climate change at https://apnews.com/hub/climate-and-environment
The Associated Press