In the streets and in the courts. The climate activists and three affected families have been sitting this Thursday to the German Government on the bench to demand that it meet its commitment of reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in a lawsuit that has proved fruitless. Agricultural producers claim that the warming of the atmosphere affects their fundamental rights and considered legally enforceable reduction targets that the Executive of the Berlin set for 2023, and that has already recognized that it is not going to accomplish. Sheep without grass, rotten apples and waterlogged fields are some of the effects that the affected families attributed to the lack of action by the Executive. The lawsuit was dismissed on Thursday, to consider the judges that “we must respect the margin of action” of the Government. But the result was almost the least of it in a process full of symbolism and which adds to the pressure on the Executive to act.
A peruvian peasant hath a controversy against a power in Germany by climate change the Netherlands has to reduce emissions of CO2 by 25% by 2023, 300 million people, are threatened by sea level rise in 2050
The street that gives access to the administrative court of Berlin has dawned this Thursday cut and with two tractors to the doors of the building, making it clear that today was a trial extraordinary. Activists, affected and journalists crowded to the doors of the court. “More and more people support us. The climate change is man-made, and you have to fight against him,” explained to this newspaper before the view Heiner Lütcke Schwienhorst, dairy producer in the State of Brandenburg and one of the plaintiffs, supported by the environmental organization Greenpeace.
Already in the room, the judge explained that never before the room that held the view had been small. About a hundred activists have come as witnesses to the view in which each family of organic farmers has been explained for five minutes why they had submitted the demand, and what have been the effects of climate change in their lives and in their professional activity. Jörg Backsen, whose family farmed sheep on an island in the north sea, where the water is gaining ground and reducing the area of grass for the animals. On Pellworm, the island in which they live, the extreme climate events such as droughts and floods are felt with particular intensity. He explained that the summer of 2018 was especially dry and, above all, that the reservoirs had accumulated very little water and that it caused a fall of 40% of the profits.
A member of the family Lütcke has explained that in the past year lived days with 35 and 37 degrees, something that had not been seen in decades, and that has led to the “calamities extreme”. “The animals could not go out to graze. They had to stay inside the barn because it was too hot and the grass was dry”. The family lost half of the harvest for forage this year, he said.
finally, Blohm Horst, fruit producer, has explained that the winter is too warm to prevent the spread of the parasites and that at least four hectares of cherry trees spoiled affected by the fly of the cherry. Its fruit, has secured, bloom now, a month before. In full trial has taken an apple with polka dot brown and rotten to illustrate the effect on the fruit of the change of temperatures. “I have been my whole life in contact with nature and had never seen anything like it,” said Horst in a moving intervention that has led to a round of applause.
The Executive of Angela Merkel had committed to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases by 40% by 2023. But last year, the Government itself acknowledged that it was not going to be able to comply with the objective and that the reduction would amount to only 32%. Ecologists believe, however, that Berlin is still time and ask to reduce the use of coal, responsible for a good part of the pollutant emissions. The Executive set out its commitments by law, but that was a decision of the Council of Ministers, so that part of the process has focused on whether those objectives are legally binding. But the judges have considered that the reduction plans of the Government are policy objectives and not legally binding, and that the plaintiffs have not proven that the measures of the Government are inadequate. Argued by the plaintiffs that climate change threatens their “right to life and health” to their work and to their properties.
The pressure exerted in Germany the public opinion for the Government to act to reduce global warming is enormous, in a country in which the environment figure often as a major concern in the polls. The movement of students Fridays for the Future will take to the streets every Friday and on the last strike climate of the past September, 1.4 million people came out to demonstrate in the whole of Germany.
That same day, the Executive presented a major package of climate 54,000 million euros for the put price on the CO2, more expensive, the plane tickets, abarató the train and established various subsidies for the energy transition. The package was considered insufficient by environmentalists and also by the Greens, the party in ascension is unstoppable, that has managed to place itself as the second force in the polls of voting intentions. “The climate package was a necessary step, but small. We need much more,” says Schwienhorst, one of the plaintiffs to the doors of the court.
The action for climate justice in Germany has a precedent in recent, after that in 2017 they admit to pending demand of a peruvian peasant who demanded compensation from a company German power, to alleviate the ravages that global warming is causing in their valley. The great precedent, however, is located in the Netherlands, where the Justice ordered the Government in 2015 that would reduce the greenhouse gases that cause the greenhouse effect (CO2). In the European Court of Justice there is also a pending demand of the ten families affected and, in the united States a group of teenagers sued the Government for its responsibility in the climate crisis.