05 Mar 2024, 12:10
Jennifer Collins

German government appeals court’s ruling calling for rapid climate action

Süddeutsche Zeitung

Germany's government has appealed November's court ruling that required it to present emergency climate measures after failing emissions reduction targets in the transport and building sectors, reported newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ). The court ordered the responsible ministries to introduce immediate and effective climate action programmes to remedy the failure. The economy and climate protection ministry lodged the appeal, asking Germany's top administrative court in Leipzig to clarify outstanding issues "in order to attain the greatest possible legal certainty." The appeal also noted that the framework for climate protection must be "clearly and legally defined," according to the SZ report.

The move will not protect the government from its obligations to implement climate action programmes for all sectors that miss their climate targets, according to Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND), which brought the initial lawsuit to Berlin's Berlin-Brandenburg Higher Administrative Court. The latest emissions data will be published in March, and it is likely the transport and building sectors will once again fail to meet targets, according to BUND.  

Environment organisations BUND and Climate Alliance Germany both accused the government of trying to shirk its climate protection responsibilities and wasting valuable time. "The longer the coalitions waits to implement effective measures, the more money it will cost the state and people in the future," said Climate Alliance Germany in a statement. Environment group Climate Action Germany (DUH), which teamed up with BUND on the November lawsuit, said the courts would force the government's hand, with three new lawsuits demanding improved climate protection measures by 2030 set to be heard by the Berlin-Brandenburg court in May.  

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