German court rules government violated climate change policy – JURIST

The Berlin-Brandenburg Higher Administrative Court held Thursday that the German Government violated federal climate change law by failing to reach annual targets. The ruling now means the government must implement changes to achieve these unmet goals.

The court found that the groups were successful in their claims. It held that the government had failed to reach its climate goals and must act immediately to ensure its policy on transport and building aligns with the Climate Protection Act. The federal government now has to decide on an immediate program in accordance with the Climate Protection Act to ensure compliance with annual emission standards.

Environmental NGOs Deutsche Umwelthilfe and BUND brought the claim to court. Their claim rested on Section 8 of the Climate Protection Act, which aims to reduce 65% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. BUND claimed that the government had failed to achieve this in the transport and building sector. After the previous request to the government from BUND was ignored, the groups took their claim to court, demanding emergency measures to ensure compliance with the annual sector targets.

Antje von Broock, managing director of BUND, celebrated the ruling in a statement on the organisation’s website, stating, “The court has strengthened the backing of climate protection. The federal government’s climate policy failure is illegal. We now expect ministers Wissing, Geywitz and Habeck to quickly take more ambitious measures to get on track for climate change.”

Von Broock further stated that they expect new measures such as speed limits, abolishing company car privileges, ending tax advantages for diesel and kerosene and clear guidelines for energy-efficient modernization of buildings to address the court’s ruling.

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