14 Dec 2021, 11:56
Julian Wettengel

Germany's new transport minister “determined” to accelerate move towards climate neutrality


New transport minister Volker Wissing from the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) said Germany’s transport sector must “make a major contribution” to ensure the country reaches climate neutrality. “I am very determined to step on the gas when it comes to climate neutrality,” Wissing told public broadcaster ZDF. The minister highlighted the role of e-mobility and the need for a rapid expansion of charging infrastructure. “It is absolutely clear that we cannot achieve our climate goals with fossil combustion engines and that is why we need alternative climate-neutral mobility. Electromobility is available. Now we need to expand the charging station infrastructure and make sure that people are willing to make the switch wherever possible,” he said. Wissing added he also wants to see “urgent further improvements” in local public and long-distance transport.

Many environmentalists have already written off sharp transport emission cuts under the next German government after the coalition agreed a treaty that is weak on mobility, and put the pro-business FDP in charge of the ministry. But new minister Wissing says that "enormous changes" are necessary – and the vague coalition agreement could give the lawyer with experience in the sector the flexibility to implement them. Mobility experts say Wissing deserves a fair chance to accelerate the shift to clean transport, which they insist is a task that will involve the whole government.

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