Germany’s prospective coalition parties go easy on carmakers
Leaked information ahead of the last day of exploratory talks between Germany’s prospective coalition parties suggest that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU alliance and the Social Democrats (SPD) will spare the country’s mighty carmakers drastic measures to reduce pollution in the sector, Nikolaus Doll writes in Die Welt. “The car industry can breathe a sigh of relief with respect to diesel cars”, as passages on transport in a working group paper were “sufficiently vague” to not impose any immediate consequences on the car companies, Doll says. Carmakers did not have to fear that costly mechanical retrofitting for older diesel cars will become mandatory, he argues. While the paper says combustion engines had to become “more efficient and cleaner including retrofits”, it does not specify how affected cars are supposed to be treated. “And that’s the point of the matter,” Doll writes. At the national diesel summit last summer, the parties decided that 5.3 million diesel cars in Germany are to receive a software update to prevent looming driving bans in inner cities but critics, such as SPD-environment minister Barbara Hendricks, say only mechanical retrofitting would lead to meaningful emissions reduction, an option “the conservatives try to spare carmakers from” as this would cost them hundreds of millions of euros, Doll writes.
Read the article in German here.
See CLEW’s dieselgate timeline for more information.