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Court Rules Germany’s Climate Policy Falls Short of Legal Requirements  

The Berlin-Brandenburg Higher Administrative Court ruled on Thursday that Germany’s federal policies to fight climate change in the transport and housing sectors are falling short of a law that sets limits to emissions in the sectors.

The regional court in Germany also required the government to take emergency action and bring the policies in transport and housing within the emissions limits set in the Climate Protection Act from 2024 to 2030, Reuters reports.

The Berlin-Brandenburg Higher Administrative Court thus upheld legal challenges from German environmental organizations BUND and Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH). BUND has sued the federal government for failing to comply with the greenhouse gas emission targets for transport and buildings set out in the Federal Climate Protection Act.

The ruling can be appealed.

“With today’s ruling, the federal government has been obliged to step up its climate protection,” BUND managing director Antje von Broock said in a statement.

The federal government has ignored a previous request from the BUND association to present an effective immediate program to bring the transport and housing sectors in compliance with the law, the environmental group said. 

Earlier this month, the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany ruled on that the government's plans to transfer $65 billion (60 billion euros) from unused emergency COVID funding to Germany’s new Energy and Climate Fund is unconstitutional and the climate fund should be reduced by that amount.

The ruling was a blow to the coalition government led by Chancellor Olaf Scholz and could put Germany’s spending plans in jeopardy. 

The authorization to borrow the unused Covid funds into the climate fund “does not satisfy the constitutional requirements for emergency borrowing,” Germany’s top court said.         

Germany’s government approved in August investments in green energy worth $63 billion (57.6 billion euros) for 2024, a 60% increase compared to this year’s targeted spending.

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By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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