Deutsche Umwelthilfe v. TotalEnergies Wärme&Kraftstoff Deutschland GmbH
Jurisdiction: Regional Court of Düsseldorf
Side A: Deutsche Umwelthilfe (Ngo)
Side B: TotalEnergies Wärme&Kraftstoff Deutschland GmbH (Corporation)
Core objectives: Whether advertising of "CO2-compensated heating oil" is in breach of German competition law
SummaryIn 2022, Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) filed legal action against TotalEnergies due to an advertising statement concerning "CO2-compensated heating oil". TotalEnergies claimed to offset the CO2 emissions of the oil as part of its climate plan.
DUH argued that this advertising claim constituted misleading commercial practices, and thus, was in breach of article 5a of the Act Against Unfair Competition. First, DUH criticised that the measures implemented to achieve the alleged climate neutrality of the advertised oil were insufficiently presented. Second, DUH criticised the offsetting measures to reach CO2 neutrality, namely, the purchase of emission credits for a forest protection project in the Madre de Dios region, Peru (ClimatePartner Tambopata forest protection project).
This case is part of a series of DUH legal proceedings concerning climate neutrality advertising promises. An overview of the ongoing proceedings (as of 18 January 2018) is published here.
Documents will be uploaded when made available.