German car manufacturers may be sued by Greenpeace and environmental NGO Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH). The complainants believe that car manufacturers BMW, Volkswagen and Daimler, as well as oil and gas company Wintershall Dea, are doing too little to combat climate change.
In particular, the fact that the companies do not increase their efforts to combat emissions is causing the environmental clubs that have announced that they may go to court.
The lawsuits would be modelled on the case that was filed in the Netherlands against oil and gas group Shell last year. The court in The Hague ruled that Shell must do more to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions by users of Shell products are also taken into account.
Greenpeace and DUH are demanding that car manufacturers stop producing cars with combustion engines by 2030. That is five years earlier than the effective ban proposed by the European Union in July. In addition, Wintershall Dea would have to stop exploring new oil and gas fields by 2026.
These deadlines are necessary to achieve the Paris climate agreements and German climate legislation goals, the NGOs say. The companies have a few weeks to respond to the demands of the environmental clubs. If they don’t, they will go to court.
Daimler and BMW said ain response to the Reuters news agency that they are committed to the goals of the Paris climate agreements and are already taking steps to do so. Wintershall Dea and Volkswagen were not immediately available for comment.