Volkswagen faces a weird lawsuit over climate change: Details here
German auto manufacturer Volkswagen is facing a weird lawsuit in its home country, where a farmer has claimed that the automaker is partly responsible for the impact that global warming is having on his family business. The farmer, Ulf Allhoff-Cramer, has claimed that drier soil and heavier rains due to climate change are harming his fields, cattle and commercial forests. He said to the media that farmers are already being hit harder and faster by climate change than expected, alleging that Volkswagen as the world's second-largest automaker has contributed to this damage.
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However, during the first hearing, a regional court in Germany asked the plaintiff and his lawyers to provide further details to back up their complaint, reported German news agency dpa. The judge also asked for clarity on whether the farmer has already suffered climate-related damages or is merely expecting them. The lawsuit is backed by the environmental group Greenpeace, which has previously backed similar legal efforts.
In his complaint, Allhoff-Cramer is calling for Volkswagen to end its production of combustion engine vehicles by 2030. German automakers rejected a similar demand from environmental groups last year as well. Meanwhile, Volkswagen said in a statement that it aims to reduce its emissions as quickly as the business allows but has set itself a 2050 deadline to cut carbon dioxide emissions to net zero.
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The automaker also said that Volkswagen stands for climate protection and rapid decarbonisation of the transport sector, but cannot meet this challenge alone. It also added that the transformation depends on government regulation, technological development and buyer behaviour.