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10 Apr 2019, 13:29
Sören Amelang

Germany’s science academy says driving bans unsuitable to improve air quality

Clean Energy Wire

Germany needs a profound shift to a renewable transport system to improve local air quality instead of ineffective diesel driving bans, according to Germany’s National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina). “Local measures and short-term activism are not very helpful for a sustainable improvement of air quality,” the researchers said in a statement. They added that Germany needed a nation-wide strategy that takes into account other sources of emissions beyond transport and also focuses on other harmful emissions, such as particulate matter, that are often more dangerous than nitrogen oxide. The scientist also stress that transport emissions are not only a problem for local air quality, but also for the climate. “All of these reasons are arguments for the rapid development of a concept for a sustainable transport transition,” the statement reads.

Chancellor Angela Merkel had asked the science academy to take a deeper look into the debate about diesel driving bans triggered by nitrogen oxide pollution exceeding EU limits in many German cities. The country is also struggling to find ways to reduce CO2 emissions in the transport sector in line with climate targets, but the task force in charge failed to agree on enough steps to reach the country’s climate targets in March. Members could only reach consensus on measures that will lower emissions by around two thirds of the necessary amount.

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