AP

Farmer sues VW over climate change; German court has doubts

May 20, 2022, 1:30 AM | Updated: 5:49 pm

BERLIN (AP) — A court in Germany cast doubt Friday on claims by a German farmer that automaker Volkswagen is partly responsible for the impact that global warming is having on his family business.

The plaintiff, Ulf Allhoff-Cramer, claims drier soil and heavier rains due to climate change are harming his fields, cattle and commercial forests.

“Farmers are already being hit harder and faster by climate change than expected,” he told reporters this week, alleging that VW as the world’s second-biggest automaker has contributed to the damage.

But during the first hearing, a regional court in the western town of Detmold asked the plaintiff and his lawyers to provide further details to back up their legal arguments, the German news agency dpa reported.

The presiding judge also asked for clarity on whether the plaintiff has already suffered climate-related damages or is merely expecting them. It set the next court hearing for Sept. 9.

The case is supported by the environmental group Greenpeace, which has backed similar legal efforts in Germany aimed at holding companies and the government accountable for climate change.

Such cases have met with mixed success. Some have been dismissed, while one made it to Germany’s top court, which last year ordered the government to step up its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In his complaint, Allhoff-Cramer is calling for VW to end its production of combustion engine vehicles by 2030. German automakers rejected a similar demand from environmental groups last year.

Volkswagen said in a statement that it aims to reduce its emissions “as quickly as the business allows” but has set itself a 2050 deadline to cut carbon dioxide emissions to net-zero.

“Volkswagen stands for climate protection and rapid decarbonization of the transport sector, but cannot meet this challenge alone,” the company said, adding that the transformation also depends on government regulation, technological development and buyer behavior.

The company said lawmakers should decide on climate change measures.

“Disputes in civil courts through lawsuits against individual companies singled out for this purpose, on the other hand, are not the place or the means to do justice to this responsible task,” VW said. “We will defend this position and ask for the lawsuit to be dismissed.”

In 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency caught Volkswagen using software that let diesel cars pass emissions tests and then turned off pollution controls during normal driving. The company apologized and paid tens of billions of dollars in fines, recall costs and compensation to car owners.

___

Follow AP’s climate coverage at http://apnews.com/hub/climate

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Arizona and New York attorneys feud over extraditing suspect...

Associated Press

Why Alvin Bragg and Rachel Mitchell are fighting over extraditing suspect in New York hotel killing

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell says she isn't into extraditing a suspect due to her lack of faith in Manhattan’s top prosecutor.

3 days ago

A Gila monster is displayed at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Dec. 14, 2018. A 34-year-old Color...

Associated Press

Colorado man dies after being bitten by pet Gila monster

A Colorado man has died after being bitten by his pet Gila monster in what would be a rare death by one of the desert lizards if the creature's venom turns out to have been the cause.

4 days ago

Police clear the area following a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs NFL football Super Bowl celebr...

Associated Press

1 dead, many wounded after shooting at Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory parade

One person died after 22 people were hit by gunfire in a shooting at the end of the Kansas Chiefs' Super Bowl victory celebration Wednesday.

11 days ago

This image from House Television shows House Speaker Mike Johnson of La., banging the gavel after h...

Associated Press

GOP-led House impeaches Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas — by one vote — over border management

Having failed to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas the first time, House Republicans are determined to try again Tuesday.

12 days ago

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, right, and Kenya's Defense Minister Aden Duale, left, listen during...

Associated Press

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin hospitalized with bladder issue

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has been hospitalized following symptoms pointing to an “emergent bladder issue."

13 days ago

Joel Osteen, the pastor of Lakewood Church, stands with his wife, Victoria Osteen, as he conducts a...

Associated Press

Woman firing rifle killed by 2 off-duty officers at Houston’s Lakewood Church run by Joel Osteen

A woman entered the Texas megachurch of Joel Osteen and started shooting with a rifle Sunday and was killed by two off-duty officers.

14 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

Farmer sues VW over climate change; German court has doubts