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German court says government must tighten climate protection plan

The German government must strengthen its climate protection program because the measures agreed so far are insufficient to achieve the country’s climate goals, the Berlin-Brandenburg High Court ruled on Thursday.

The decision confirms two lawsuits filed by Environmental Action Germany and Deutsche Umwelthilfe. According to the ruling, the federal government’s measures in their current form do not meet legal requirements.

The federal government can appeal to the Federal Administrative Court and thereby postpone the ruling.

The group had already taken legal action against the German government’s climate policy once before and won in November.

At the time, the Higher Administrative Court of Berlin-Brandenburg ruled that the government must launch an emergency climate program in the transport and construction sectors. The appeal against this judgment is currently being heard by the Federal Administrative Court.

The environmental group based its lawsuits on demands set out in the German Climate Protection Act, which calls for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions between 2024 and 2030. Furthermore, the law sets the goal of reducing all these emissions by at least 65% by 2030. compared to 1990.

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Last year a reduction of approximately 46% was achieved.

The climate protection program is considered by the federal government as a kind of general plan to achieve these goals. It contains a large number of measures in the transport, energy, buildings, industry and agriculture sectors.

Activists of Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) protest wearing masks showing the leading members of the traffic light government in front of Berlin's Higher Administrative Court.  Paul Zinken/dpa

Activists of Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) protest wearing masks showing the leading members of the traffic light government in front of Berlin’s Higher Administrative Court. Paul Zinken/dpa

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