Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) v. Mercedes-Benz AG
Jurisdiction: Regional Court of Stuttgart
Principle law(s): Federal Climate Protection Act and to change further regulations ("Bundesklimaschutzgesetz” or “KSG")
Side A: Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) (Ngo)
Side B: Mercedes-Benz AG (Corporation)
Core objectives: Whether Mercedes-Benz is infringing on the right to climate protection by not committing to achieving carbon neutrality in the production and intended use of internal combustion engine cars.
SummaryOn September 20, 2021, environmental organization Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH; Environmental Action Germany) filed an action against Mercedes-Benz in the Regional Court of Stuttgart for not yet having clearly and irreversibly committed to phase out the sale of passenger cars with internal combustion engines (ICE) by 2030. DUH argues that by failing to do so, the automaker is violating the fundamental right to climate protection and impinging upon the rights and freedoms of future generations, as phase out would be necessary for the company to adhere to its allocated carbon budget. The claim is grounded in the Paris Agreement and German Tort Law. The plaintiff relies on the earlier decision by the Federal Constitutional Court (BVerfG) on the German Climate Protection Act, where the Court accepted that Germany has a limited total CO2 emissions budget remaining at its disposal (Neubauer v. Germany). The action filed against Mercedes-Benz is one of the first civil proceedings based on this decision.
Related laws and policies
Federal Climate Protection Act and to change further regulations ("Bundesklimaschutzgesetz” or “KSG")
The purpose of this law is to ensure that national climate protection targets are met and European targets are met. It is also intended to support Germany's commitment at the UN climate summit in New York on September 23, 2019 to pursue greenhouse gas neutrality as a long-term goal by 2050. It wa...