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Three German farming families are taking Chancellor Angela Merkel to court, arguing that her government isn't doing enough to tackle climate change.
The lawsuit that will be heard Thursday is the first attempt in Germany to hold authorities legally accountable for pledges they have made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Similar cases elsewhere have met with mixed success.
Families - Group - Greenpeace - Farms - Effects
The families, who are backed by environmental group Greenpeace, argue that their farms are already suffering from the effects of man-made global warming and Germany, one of the world's biggest historical emitters of greenhouse gases, is partly responsible.
Their lawyer, Rhoda Verheyen, said her clients want judges to decide whether the government's self-set emissions reduction targets for 2020 constitute a binding pledge.
Government - Target - Germany - Emissions - %
"The German government set itself a target in 2007, and even before, to lower Germany's emissions by 40% compared with 1990," Verheyen told The Associated Press.
"First this was a political promise, which then became a plan," she said, noting that it was repeatedly cited in Cabinet decisions. "Ultimately they are suing to have a promise that we see as binding fulfilled."
Germany - Environment - Ministry
Germany's environment ministry has acknowledged that it will miss...
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