News Digest Item
03 Nov 2017

Club of Rome co-president Weizsäcker warns of combustion engine ban

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

The renowned German environmentalist an co-president of the sustainability organisation Club of Rome,  Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, has warned that a quick phase-out of cars with combustion engines could lead to several unintended consequences that are rather harmful for the environment, the Franfkurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports. “Please, no hasty reactions,” von Weizsäcker said with regard to the ongoing federal coalition talks between the conservative CDU/CSU alliance, the pro-business FDP and the environmentalist Green Party. The Green Party is demanding a ban for newly registered cars with combustion engines by 2030, but von Weizsäcker says that e-cars are in fact “more damaging for the climate” than other vehicles, given today’s power mix that contains a huge share of fossil energy sources and the emissions created by battery production. Weizsäcker, a Social Democrat (SPD) who founded the environmental research unit Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy and helped prepare Germany’s nuclear exit as a member of parliament, said more research should be done on developing power-toe-gas technologies to invent climate-friendly combustion engines.

See the article in German here.

Read the CLEW articles Combustion engine ban splitting point in coalition talks on transport and Why the German diesel summit matters for climate and energy, and the factsheet The debate over an end to combustion engines in Germany for background.

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