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Bundes fur Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland e.V. & Germanwatch e.V., v. Bundesrepublik Deutschland, vertreten durch Bundesminister fur Wirtschaft und Arbeit (Berlin Administrative Court, 2006)

Jurisdiction: Germany


Side A: Germanwatch e.V. (Ngo)


Side B: The Federal Republic of Germany (Government)


Core objectives: Sought environmental information on German export credit activities


Summary
In the early 2000s, non-profit organisations BUND (Friends of the Earth Germany) and Germanwatch e.V. brought suit against the government in the Administrative Court of Berlin, arguing that citizens have a right to free access to environmental information under the German Access to Environmental Information Act (Umweltinformationsgesetz, UIG), in particular regarding German export credit activities. The export credits in question provided financial support or guarantees for projects in the field of energy production. 

On March 2, 2006, the court proposed a settlement of the case without prejudice to the different opinions on the legal obligations and without setting a precedent. It also offered a legal opinion without precedent. The court rejected the Ministry’s argument that information on German export credit activities did not constitute “environmental information” within the meaning of the UIG and could not potentially affect elements of the environment, such as climate change. The parties accepted the proposed settlement. The Ministry then committed to releasing comprehensive information on the climate change impacts of German export credits.
Case documents

from the Grantham Research Institute
from the Grantham Research Institute
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