Silke Backsen, center poses with her children Hannes, left, Paul, second from left, Sophie second from right and Jakob, right, in front of a map of the world at the office of the environment organization Greenpeace in Berlin, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019. Silke Backsen and her family are one of the three families taking Chancellor Angela Merkel to court, arguing that her government isn’t doing enough to tackle climate change. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

German farmers take Merkel govt to court on climate targets

October 31, 2019 - 3:23 am

BERLIN (AP) — 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, which will be heard Thursday by a Berlin court, is the first attempt in Germany to hold authorities legally accountable for pledges they have made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The families, who are backed by environmental group Greenpeace, say their farms are already suffering from the effects of man-made global warming and Germany is partly responsible.

The families' lawyer, Rhoda Verheyen, said her clients want judges to decide whether the government's self-set emission reduction targets for 2020 constitute a binding pledge.

Germany's environment ministry has acknowledged that it will miss its 2020 goal, but says that it's now concentrating on a more ambitious target for 2030.

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