A German court has cast doubt on a German farmer’s claim that Volkswagen is responsible for global warming in his family business.
Plaintiff, Ulf Allhoff-Cramer, alleges that dry soil and heavy rains due to climate change damage his fields, cattle, and commercial forests.
“Farmers have been hit hardest by climate change sooner than expected,” he told reporters this week, suspecting VW has contributed to the damage as the world’s second-largest car manufacturer.
But during the first hearing, a district court in the western city of Detmold asked the plaintiff and his lawyers to provide further information to support their legal arguments, reports the German news agency DPA.
The presiding judge also asked whether the complainant had been traumatized by the weather or was waiting for them. I decided the case to be heard in court on September 9.
The case is backed by the Greenpeace environmental organization, which has supported similar legal efforts in Germany to hold companies and governments accountable for climate change.
Such cases have had various successes. Some have been expelled, and one has reached a German high court, which ordered the government to intensify its efforts to reduce emissions last year.
Allhoff-Cramer calls for VW to end production of automotive engines by 2030, and German car manufacturers rejected a similar proposal by environmental organizations last year.
Volkswagen said in a statement that it intended to reduce emissions “as soon as business agrees” but has set a 2050 deadline to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to net-zero.
“Volkswagen stands for climate protection and rapid decarbonisation of the transportation sector, but it cannot address this challenge alone,” the company said. The change depends on government policy, technological development, and consumer behavior.