Organic Farmer Takes Volkswagen to Court Over Drastic Climate Change
Ulf Allhoff-Cramer, a Germany-based organic farmer, claims Volkswagen is partly responsible for local climate change as VW car emissions are damaging his farm
German farmer Ulf Allhoff-Cramer takes automaker Volkswagen (VW) to court for being responsible for climate change due to their cars’ carbon emissions. According to the organic farmer, the CO2 emissions by VW are causing damage to his family business. He says that the heavier rains and drier soil due to climate change are impacting his fields, forest operations, and cattle.
Supported by environmental NGO Greenpeace, the farmer has filed a case against VW for interfering with his fundamental rights to health, property, and freedom. In this case, both the farmer and Greenpeace are accusing the automaker of being aware of the harmful impacts of climate change, and still not doing its part to reduce its emissions.
They claim that a 1983 research already showed how increased emissions of VW cars could impact the environment. But despite knowing the consequences, the German automaker is still producing gasoline-powered cars.
The NGO and the farmer want VW to decrease the production of its combustion engine cars by 25% by 2030. They also urge VW to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 65% compared to its emissions in 2018. While the case is valid from an environmental viewpoint, there are many loopholes. Hence, the German court has also expressed some doubts about this case’s viability.
After the first hearing, the farmer’s lawyers were asked to come up with further evidence to back up all the arguments. The court also gave sufficient time to Volkswagen to respond to the accusations. The presiding judge also mentioned that it’s not clear whether the accuser was already suffering from climate-linked damage or expecting them in the future. The next hearing is set for September 9, 2022.
According to Volkswagen, the farmer’s allegations are unjustified. The automaker mentions that it stands for the rapid decarbonization and climate protection in the auto sector. However, it alone cannot meet the challenge. The conservation of climate also depends on government rules, buyer behaviors, and technological development.
The brand is also shifting to the production of an electric vehicle with an investment of more than €35 billion ($36.9 billion). It is striving to become the world’s largest electric carmaker by 2035, while also aiming to cut CO2 emissions to net-zero by 2050.
Via: VOA News