German transport minister's proposals for climate-friendly traffic 'completely insufficient' – media
Clean Energy Wire / Zeit Online
Transport minister Andreas Scheuer has proposed a list of amendments to the country's traffic regulations (StVO) in a bid to make Germany's roads "safer, more climate-friendly and fairer". The proposals include allowing vehicles occupied by more than three people to drive in bus lanes, and designated parking spots for carsharing and electric vehicles. Scheuer also proposed several regulation changes for bicycles, among them the introduction of fast bicycle lanes and zones where cars will not be allowed to overtake bicycles. In a commentary in Zeit Online, Sören Götz acknowledges that Scheuer "seems to have recognised that something has to change" in the German transport sector if the country wants to significantly reduce CO2 emissions and improve air quality in its cities. Unfortunately, all of the proposed measures are "long overdue", "hardly enforceable" and "completely insufficient”, he writes. "A real transport turnaround must be more radical," says Götz, pointing to other possible measures such as abolishing the value-added tax on train tickets and tax privileges for aviation.
Germany is struggling to clean up its transport sector, where emissions have remained unchanged for decades. A task force meant to develop proposals on how Germany can reach its official target of cutting emissions in the transport sector by 40 to 42 percent by 2030 failed to agree sufficient proposals in March. Germany's climate cabinet has promised key decisions on how to reach targets in all sectors for a meeting on 20 September.