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26 Jan 2023, 13:05
Carolina Kyllmann

German transport infrastructure plan outdated, not in line with climate goals – think tank

Clean Energy Wire

Germany's strategy for transport infrastructure development is not oriented towards the country’s climate and environmental goals, according to an analysis conducted by think tank Agora Verkehrswende. Accordingly, the think tank has called for a modernisation of the German Transport Infrastructure Plan 2030 (BVWP), especially in view of the fact that the government is currently discussing the planning acceleration act, which intends to speed up the implementation of infrastructure projects. “First set the course for climate protection, then turbo-charge - this should apply to the planning of roads, railways and waterways,” said Urs Maier, project manager energy and infrastructure at Agora Verkehrswende, adding that it would not be appropriate to accelerate transport infrastructure planning since the development strategy is outdated. “The BVWP is a powerful lever for shaping the future,” Maier said. “With its modernisation, the [government] coalition can now set course for climate neutrality instead of climate emergency, efficiency instead of possible bad investments, participation instead of restriction, and social peace instead of construction site protests.”

According to Agora Verkehrswende, the plan falls short on climate and environmental protection and should be reassessed to prioritise rail over road traffic, maintenance over expansion and new construction, and take alternatives to road construction into account. The BVWP is Germany's most important planning instrument for road, rail and water infrastructure, writes the think tank. It is estimated that investment in current projects totals almost 270 billion euros and will determine the construction of federal infrastructure for the next 10 to 15 years.

The transport sector in Germany has failed its emission reduction targets for the past two years. The government is currently working on a comprehensive climate action programme to get the country on track towards its climate targets, with a particular focus on emission-cutting steps in the transport sector.

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