Diesel ruling: blessing or lunacy? / Hamburg bans diesel on two roads

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Germany needlessly destroys leading diesel technology – opinion

The landmark court ruling on diesel driving bans is “lunacy,” writes Holger Appel in a commentary for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. A ban on the “allegedly dangerous” diesel technology is unnecessary, because nitrogen dioxide measurements should be put in doubt, and pollution levels have already decreased significantly since the 1990s, argues Appel. “Germany needlessly destroys the diesel, a good technology, in which it is a leader. Or presumably was,” he writes. “You wonder why a court follows the arguments of populist groups that have taken on the car for whatever selfish reasons.”

Read the commentary in German here.

Find background in the CLEW article Court ruling opens door for diesel bans in German cities, the  factsheet Diesel driving bans in Germany – The Q&A, and the dossier BMW, Daimler and VW vow to fight in green transport revolution.

 

Tageszeitung

Diesel ban ruling puts people’s health above car drivers’ interests - opinion

People living in Germany’s inner cities are the winners of the landmark court ruling on diesel driving bans, writes Malte Kreutzfeld in a commentary in the tageszeitung. “It is no longer allowed to ignore their right to breathe clean air. In case of doubt, this overrules the desire of diesel car owners to drive anywhere, at any time.” But, according to Kreutzfeld, people who bought diesel cars in good faith might be the verdict’s losers, if they end up having to foot the bill for politicians’ and carmakers’ gross mistakes.

Read the commentary in German here

Find background in the CLEW article Court ruling opens door for diesel bans in German cities, the  factsheet Diesel driving bans in Germany – The Q&A, and the dossier BMW, Daimler and VW vow to fight in green transport revolution.

 

Süddeutsche Zeitung

Diesel ban will speed up transformation of car industry

The landmark court ruling on diesel driving bans causes “alarm in diesel country,” because 60 to 80 percent of all cars sold by Audi, Daimler, and BMW in Germany in the past years had a diesel engine, writes Thomas Fromm in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. “This is what makes the verdict so explosive. Faster than planned, the industry faces one of the largest transformations in its history, and cars with alternative propulsion systems might be headed for their breakthrough.” The industry’s exit from the diesel has started already, even if slowly, Fromm writes with reference to Porsche’s recent announcement that it has dropped diesel cars from its current lineup.

Read the article in German here.

Find background in the CLEW article Court ruling opens door for diesel bans in German cities, the  factsheet Diesel driving bans in Germany – The Q&A, and the dossier BMW, Daimler and VW vow to fight in green transport revolution.

 

City of Hamburg

Hamburg to ban older diesel cars on two roads from April

After a German top court ruled that German cities may ban diesel cars from polluted areas, the City of Hamburg announced that it would follow through with plans to introduce driving bans for older diesel vehicles on two of its most polluted roads starting at the end of April. The police will be responsible for enforcing the ban. “There will be an increased number of inspections and spot checks, especially at the start of the regulation,” writes the city in a press release. The selective restrictions will be enforced all year round and until the EU nitrogen oxide limits are met on an annual average. A total of 2.2 kilometres of street sections are affected, and the city provides information on alternative routes.

Read the press release in German here.

For background on the decision read the CLEW articles Court ruling opens door for diesel bans in German cities and Reactions to Germany's court ruling on diesel driving bans, and also check out the factsheet Diesel driving bans in Germany – The Q&A.

 

Uniper / Wintershall / OMV

Nord Stream 2 financial investors say discussion about pipeline project “superficial, emotion-driven”

Europe’s reliance on natural gas imports - as a “partner for renewables” – is growing, and the contentious Russian-German Nord Stream 2 pipeline project is needed to supply the continent with gas cheaper than the liquefied natural gas (LNG) imported from the US, the CEOs of the pipeline’s financial investors Uniper, Wintershall, and OMV write in a joint press release. Natural gas is “the underlying pillar” for the reliable and competitive energy supply of the European economy, and it will become more important “if Europe wants to achieve its ambitious climate goals,” they write. “Nord Stream 2 is a billion dollar investment in state-of-the-art European gas infrastructure, in the secure supply of gas to people and industry in Europe,” but the public debate about the project has become “bizarre,” “mostly superficial,” and “emotion-driven,” they write. “In the end, an additional reliable transport route for gas to Europe is created with the pipeline, nothing more.”

Read the press release in German here.

For background, read the CLEW news digest item Nord Stream 2: green light for 55-kilometre section in German territorial waters, and the factsheet Germany’s dependence on imported fossil fuels.

 

Greenpeace Germany / Institute for Applied Ecology

German forests could contribute significantly to climate protection - study

Germany’s forests could take in three times the amount of CO₂ from the atmosphere by the end of the century if they are better protected and used more ecologically than is the case today, says Greenpeace Germany, based on a study conducted by the Institute for Applied Ecology. This could help the German government achieve its climate targets. However, it would mean that less timber will be available in the future. Germany has ignored the climate protection potential of its forests, said Greenpeace’s Sandra Hieke in a press release.

Find the press release in German here, and the study in German here.

For background, read the CLEW dossier The energy transition and climate change.

 

ZDF Frontal 21

Transport ministry pushed to block environmental organisations from taking legal action against diesel cars

Back in 2016, the German Federal Ministry of Transport (BMVI) pushed for a legal provision blocking environmental organisations from taking legal action against the model approval and sale of diesel cars with high emissions, according to a letter obtained by the public broadcaster ZDF and published in its magazine Frontal 21. “The letter is proof of the scandal that environmental associations should have access to the legal system to control the federal government, but the federal government in fact actively works towards preventing this,” Arne Fellermann of NGO Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND) told ZDF.

Watch the piece in German here, and read the transcript in German here.

For background, read the CLEW factsheet "Dieselgate" - a timeline of Germany's car emissions fraud scandal.

 

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