Green NGO did not misuse funds, top German court rules

(EurActiv, 5 Jul 2019) Deutsche Umwelthilfe, an environmental association, was cleared yesterday (4 July) from accusations that it misused funds raised through the numerous legal cases it won before German courts. EURACTIV Germany reports.

Did Deutsche Umwelthilfe misuse or misappropriate the funds it earned through the legal cases it won before German courts?

Germany’s highest court, the Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe, decided on Thursday (4 July) that this was not the case.

Even if Deutsche Umwelthilfe makes a profit from its court actions, it is not clear that there is an economic interest behind the legal claims raised by the environmental association.

The case had been brought by a car dealer who had received a warning from the association because the fuel consumption levels and carbon emissions emitted by its cars were incorrectly labelled.

The car dealer refused to pay the fine and went to court to have the environmental association’s business model examined.

The car dealer alleged that Deutsche Umwelthilfe is more interested in using proceeds from the warnings and claims issued to finance their political campaigns than in protecting consumers.

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EurActiv, 5 Jul 2019: Green NGO did not misuse funds, top German court rules