Sunday May 19, 2024

Court rules German govt violated climate law

Published : 30 Nov 2023, 23:55

  DF News Desk
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. File Photo: Michael Kappeler/dpa.

A German court has ruled that the country's government violated climate change goals enshrined in law by failing to do enough to reduce emissions in the transport and building sectors, reported dpa.

The decision on Thursday is a victory for two environmental advocacy groups that brought the lawsuit accusing ministries of violating Germany's Climate Protection Act, which currently stipulates annual targets for each sector to reduce harmful greenhouse gases.

The law states that overall greenhouse gas emissions in Germany must fall by 65% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.

The law requires the responsible ministry to implement an immediate action plan to reduce emissions if a sector misses the targets laid out in the law.

The government is expected to appeal the ruling, which would delay any impact of Thursday's decision by an administrative court in Berlin.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz's coalition is currently pushing to rewrite the very clauses of the Climate Protection Act at issue in the ruling, further complicating any impact of the decision.

The court decision on Thursday ordered the government to take additional measures to ensure that climate targets for the years 2024 to 2030 are met.

The presiding judge, Ariane Holle, described long-term plans drafted by government ministries as insufficient and not what is required by the law.

The climate groups that brought the case hailed the ruling and demanded steps such as imposing a speed limit on German motorways.

"This is a very clear call not to use further sleight of hand to avoid taking action," Jürgen Resch, managing director of Deutsche Umwelthilfe (Environmental Action Germany), told dpa.

His group brought the case alongside the environmental alliance BUND.