German district court drops climate change case against Mercedes-Benz

The Mercedes-Benz logo is pictured at the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) 2019 in Frankfurt, Germany September 10, 2019. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/File Photo

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BERLIN, Sept 13 (Reuters) – A lawsuit against Mercedes-Benz (MBGn.DE) by a German climate NGO, the first time German citizens have sued a private company for worsening climate change, has been dropped by the court district of Stuttgart. Tuesday, the court said.

The NGO, Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH), has announced its intention to appeal the decision to the Higher Regional Court in Stuttgart.

The deal, which required Mercedes-Benz to adhere to a tougher carbon emissions budget and pledge to end production of combustion engine cars by November 2030, was based on a 2021 decision Germany’s highest court that the country’s climate law did not do enough to protect future generations. Read more

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The plaintiffs, three DUH administrators, argued that their rights as individuals to be protected from the consequences of climate change were violated by Mercedes-Benz’s impact on the planet.

However, the court ruled that there was not yet enough hard evidence of the impact of Mercedes-Benz’s production of combustion engine cars on the plaintiffs’ rights.

It is not yet clear whether this could change in the future, the court added in its statement.

Mercedes-Benz said it welcomed the decision.

DUH has filed a similar lawsuit against BMW (BMWG.DE), with a court date scheduled for November. A case brought by Greenpeace against Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) on the same subject will be heard in court in May next year.

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Reporting by Victoria Waldersee; edited by Rachel More and Jason Neely

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

About Charles D. Goolsby

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