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05 Apr 2022, 13:38
Benjamin Wehrmann

Parliament’s legal experts say Berlin city autobahn project would undermine climate action

Der Tagesspiegel

A report by the German parliament’s scientific service has backed Berlin’s city government in its rejection of a motorway project that cuts right through the eastern centre of the German capital, newspaper Der Tagesspiegel reports. The scientific service’s legal opinion on the A100 project greenlighted by federal transport minister Volker Wissing from the pro-business Free Democrats (FPD) said the city autobahn would likely be in conflict with a landmark ruling by the country’s constitutional court obliging the government to enforce more effective emissions reduction to protect future generations. By the end of 2022, the legislator has to better regulate the reduction targets for greenhouse gas emissions from 2031, particularly in the transport sector, the legal advice states. The country’s entire Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan 2030, which includes expanding Berlin’s A100 autobahn, would probably have to become subject to a review, the lawyers said. "The fact that such a review could result in a need for adjustment does not seem far-fetched."

Berlin’s city government had rejected the federal transport ministry’s decision to build a new segment of the motorway and had made a suspension of the project part of its coalition agreement. But while the city of Berlin has no say in federal transport infrastructure projects on its own territory, the FDP’s federal government partner Green Party also heavily criticised the project, arguing it had not been decided in agreement and would undermine parallel transport transition policies that are aimed at reducing passenger car use in favour of more bicycles and public transport options. 

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