German climate policy insufficient, court rules

(EurActiv, 30 Nov 2023) The German government must present emergency programmes to improve its climate policy in the transport and buildings sector, a Berlin court ruled on Thursday (30 November), after the country repeatedly failed to meet emission reduction targets.

The higher administrative court of Berlin-Brandenburg ruled that the German government must present immediate action programmes to reach the emission reduction targets in the transport and buildings sector, as written in the German climate law.

The ruling follows a lawsuit by environmental NGOs Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) and Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND), who called it a “groundbreaking” decision. The ruling can however be contested at the highest instance, the Federal Administrative Court.

“With the World Climate Conference starting today, the German government must send out a signal in favour of a fresh start in climate protection,” Jürgen Resch, CEO of DUH, said in a statement.

As one potential measure for the immediate action programme, the NGO would like to see a general speed limit on motorways implemented, something that Germany so far does not have, unlike all other European countries.

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EurActiv, 30 Nov 2023: German climate policy insufficient, court rules