German Lawsuit Targets Volkswagen for Climate Change Damages

It's not clear if the argument will resonate

The VW logo can be seen on the body of a T-Rock R Line.
Silas Stein/picture alliance via Getty Images

Climate change is having, and will continue to have, a significant impact on farming all over the world. Exactly how it will affect farms depends on the crops being farmed and the locations, but the impact itself is set to be vast. In Germany, a farmer named Ulf Allhoff-Cramer has decided to push back against climate change’s effect on his farmland. It’s how he’s opted to push back, though, that’s raised some eyebrows in various corners.

Allhoff-Cramer has filed a lawsuit against Volkswagen, arguing that the automaker is responsible for the changes in temperature that have affected his livelihood.

A new report from the Associated Press (via Autoblog) has more details on Allhoff-Cramer’s suit, and the reaction that legal experts have had to it. Allhoff-Cramer’s argument is that, as one of the world’s largest automakers, the Volkswagen Group is at fault — and he’s calling on them to end internal combustion engine production by 2030. His suit has the backing of Greenpeace, the AP reports.

Based on the article, it sounds like the German court presently hearing his case wants more details from Allhoff-Cramer before proceeding — asking for additional details and clarification on whether the damages have already occurred or are anticipated.

In a statement, the automaker said that they were seeking a dismissal of the suit. “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,” Volkswagen said in a statement.

It’ll be a few months before we have a better sense of whether the case will proceed. The next hearing is set for September.

Win the Ultimate Formula 1® Miami Grand Prix Experience

Want the F1 experience of a lifetime? Here’s your chance to win tickets to see Turn 18 Grandstand, one of Ultimate Formula 1® Miami Grand Prix’s most premier grandstands!