German farmers won’t appeal climate lawsuit defeat

December 5, 2019 GMT

BERLIN (AP) — Three German farming families say they won’t appeal a court’s decision to dismiss their climate change lawsuit against Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government.

The families, who were backed by environmental group Greenpeace, said Thursday that the ruling in October had set an important precedent as the court acknowledged a link between fundamental rights, climate change and government actions.

Berlin’s administrative court, however, dismissed the plaintiff’s argument that a 2014 Cabinet decision to cut Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions by 40% was legally binding, noting it’s since been replaced with new targets.

The lawsuit was the first attempt to hold German authorities legally accountable for pledges made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Similar cases elsewhere have met with mixed success.

Plaintiff Silke Backsen said her family might consider a fresh lawsuit in future.