Car makers, on the whole, aren’t great at saving the planet. They might try to convince you that hybrid tech and more efficient engines are helping you cut your carbon footprint. But in reality, every mile you drive in a combustion engine-powered car is still clogging up the atmosphere a little more.
Now, environmental charity Greenpeace has had enough of this shit, and is taking carmaker Volkswagen to court over its impact on the climate crisis.
Greenpeace has filed a lawsuit against Volkswagen AG at the Regional Court of Braunschweig, in Germany, for its lack of climate protection. The charity is the latest group to argue that companies and corporations also have a responsibility to protect the planet.
Despite the carmaker’s ongoing push towards electric vehicles, the charity says that its current CO2 emissions “contribute significantly to the climate crisis”.
As such, Greenpeace is calling on VW to cease its global sales of combustion engine-powered cars by 2030 at the latest. If the suit is successful, it says the move would cut VW’s CO2 emissions by two gigatons by 2040.
According to Reuters, VW has so far rejected the demands of Greenpeace. The newswire reported that the group said combatting the climate emergency was something companies could not do alone.
A spokesperson for the group told Reuters:
“Volkswagen stands for climate protection and decarbonizing the transport sector, but it cannot tackle this challenge alone.
“The task of designing appropriate measures belongs to parliament. Civil court disputes through lawsuits against singled-out companies are not the place or way to do justice to this task of great responsibility.”
Despite VW’s response, Greenpeace argues that the only way VW can help limit climate change is “with a quick goodbye to the combustion engine.”
The suit against VW follows similar moves against other private companies in Europe.
Earlier this year, a case in The Netherlands found that corporations also had a responsibility to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Dutch case urged oil company Royal Dutch Shell and its subsidiaries to do more in pursuit of climate protection.