On 17 February, nine young people from different regions of Germany submitted their complaint to the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe to challenge the German Climate Law .  The plaintiffs, among them Luisa Neubauer of Fridays for Future and Lüke Recktenwald – son of the Recktenwald family from the island Langeoog, plaintiffs in the “People’s Climate Case” – argue that the emission reduction targets stated in the German Climate Law are too weak to protect citizens from the climate crisis. The plaintiffs see these weak targets threatening their fundamental rights to physical integrity, to freedom of occupation and to property – this applies especially to them as representatives of the younger generations.

The environmental organisations Greenpeace and Germanwatch as well as Protect the Planet support the complaint. Christoph Bals, Political Director of Germanwatch: “The state is not fulfilling its duty to protect the fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution. The fundamental rights and the freedom of young people and future generations are massively restricted by the insufficient action of the government today. The Federal Constitutional Court should oblige the government to implement climate protection goals that are in line with fundamental rights – as the highest court in the Netherlands recently decided in the Urgenda case with analogous reasoning”.

The young people are represented by the lawyer Dr. Roda Verheyen. The lawsuit that has now been filed is one of four constitutional complaints against the climate policy of the Federal Government. Presumably, these constitutional complaints will be negotiated together in one proceeding.