01 Sep 2021, 13:37
Edgar Meza

German NGOs demand highway expansion moratorium under next govt

Clean Energy Wire

Leading German environmental organisations are calling for an immediate halt to the construction and expansion of highways and for a new federal mobility law to be passed after the national election. The transport sector is the only major sector whose nationwide CO₂ emissions did not fall between 1990 and the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the organisations, including Environmental Action Germany (DUH), Germanwatch and Greenpeace, write in a joint statement. “Mobility is an important prerequisite for social participation. At the same time, however, the transport sector is the biggest problem for climate protection in Germany.” Emissions would have to decrease significantly in all sectors in order to comply with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5-degree limit, they add.

The government’s Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan 2030 adopted in 2016 and the highway requirement plan do not provide any contributions to climate protection, the NGOs say. They increase the proportion of road traffic and thus CO2 emissions and are incompatible with the recent decision of the Federal Constitutional Court, the associations stress. Highways are also detrimental to nature, they add. Almost 90 areas designated as part of the EU’s Natura 2000 nature protection network are severely impaired and large habitats worthy of protection are cut through over a length of 1,000 kilometres.

Friends of the Earth Germany has previously argued that the planning of new motorways and major roads by the government is inconsistent with the necessity of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector and protecting biodiversity. Germans head to the polls on 26 September to elect a new parliament.

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