In December 2022, the German Constitutional Court dismissed a complaint by two individuals against the German legislature for failing to standardise legal pathways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in particular by introducing a speed limit on Germany highways. The individuals submitted that German law required these pathways to ensure a timely, transparent and fair distribution of the burdens associated with the reduction of greenhouse gases to ensure the protection of future rights and freedoms – as required by Article 20a of the Constitution.
The individuals submitted that the measures taken to reduce CO2 emissions in the transport sector were insufficient to meet the emission levels required by the Climate Protection Act by 2030. The complaint was dismissed as inadmissible. The Court held that the complainants did not sufficiently substantiate their claim, failing to show that there would be considerable restrictions on fundamental freedoms by the end of the decade, because the allowable emissions for the transport sector were being used up too quickly. The Court also held that it was not evidenced why further emissions reductions had to be achieved through the means of a speed limit.