Court in Germany rejects lawsuit supported by Greenpeace against Merkel govt over alleged climate action neglect

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A court in Germany has rejected a lawsuit filed against the German government for not doing enough to avert global warming. Three farming families backed by environmental NGO Greenpeace sued Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government, arguing that the administration failed to curb greenhouse gas emissions sufficiently to reach its self-imposed 2020 climate target, according to Clean Energy Wire.

The families’ lawyers argued that the 2014 decision of Merkel’s cabinet to reduce emissions by 2020 by 40 percent compared to 1990 levels had been legally binding and also said that Germany’s commitment to contribute to EU emissions reduction targets obliged the government to cut the country’s CO₂ output. A failure to comply thus violated the families’ basic rights and undermined their livelihood as organic farmers due to crop losses following the 2018 heat wave and drought, they argued. However, the court said the plaintiffs lacked a legal basis for their complaint and dismissed the notion that the 2020 target represents a legal obligation for the government, calling it a “declaration of intent.”

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