German carmakers reject environmental groups' climate demand

BERLIN (AP), German automaker Daimler rejected Friday's cease-and-desist request from two environmental groups for a commitment to end the sale of combustion engine vehicles by 2030.
Lawyers representing Greenpeace and Deutsche Umwelthilfe threatened to sue Daimler and BMW if they don't sign a legal agreement to not put new gas-powered vehicles on the market after the decade ends.

These groups claim that companies must follow the same rules as governments in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change. These same lawyers sued the German government in a successful lawsuit earlier this year. They forced it to modify its emission reduction plans to shift more responsibility onto older generations.

Greenpeace wrote to Volkswagen stating that it believes VW is a threat to absolute rights such as property, life, and health. It also stated that VW was responsible for large amounts of climate-warming carbon dioxide.

Daimler stated in a statement that there was no basis for the demand of the groups.

The company stated that if a lawsuit is filed, they will use every legal defense available to protect themselves.

Daimler stated that it is committed to the 2015 Paris climate agreement goals and plans to make its entire vehicle fleet climate neutral by 2039. This will be more than a decade ahead of current EU rules.

BMW stated that it will examine the legal threats from environmental groups but also said that it is committed to the Paris agreement's goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit). According to the luxury carmaker, it plans to have 10 million fully-electric cars on the roads in the next decade. BMW sold more than 2 million vehicles in 2020.

Deutsche Umwelthilfe sent a cease-and-desist request to Wintershall Dea (an investor in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Germany), as well.


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