• The farmer is suing the Volkswagen Group, claiming that the pollution caused by it violates his rights.
  • The car group had previously dismissed the farmer’s accusations as “unfounded.”
  • Farmer and Greenpeace want to force VW to reduce the share of cars with internal combustion engines to 25 percent by 2029.

A German court on Friday began a case against a Volkswagen group filed by a farmer who claims that pollution caused by a car giant violates his rights.

An organic farmer from the town of Detmold in the Rhineland, supported by Greenpeace, says Volkswagen’s emissions significantly contribute to climate change and thus harm its business.

He argues that this interferes with his fundamental rights to property, health and freedom.

“A corporation with gigantic CO2 emissions, such as VW, is partly responsible for the damage caused by the climate crisis,” Greenpeace was quoted as saying by farmer Rod Verhein’s lawyer.

If the group does not cut emissions much faster than planned, it will harm others and thus will behave “illegally,” she said.

However, a spokesman for the Detmold court on Friday said he had expressed clear doubts about the success of the lawsuit.

The trial was adjourned to September to give the farmer time to submit additional written evidence and give Volkswagen time to comment.

The car group had previously dismissed the farmer’s accusations as “unfounded.”

He is trying to demand “individual responsibility for the overall effects of climate change” and that “in our view cannot succeed”, the automaker said.

Farmer and Greenpeace want to force VW to reduce the share of cars with internal combustion engines to 25 percent by 2029 and completely stop the production of cars with internal combustion engines by 2030.

They also want VW to reduce CO2 emissions by 65 percent compared to 2018.

The plaintiffs accuse VW of being aware for decades of the dangers of global warming.

They say research has shown that the council was warned at a meeting in 1983 about the consequences of increased carbon emissions and the threat of climate change.

The Volkswagen Group, whose 12 brands include Audi, Porsche and Skoda, is directing 35 billion euros to the transition to electric cars and aims to become the world’s largest manufacturer of electric cars by 2025.

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