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26 Apr 2022, 12:34
Edgar Meza

Petition for speed limits, domestic flight bans in Germany set for Bundestag review

Tagesspiegel

More than 58,000 people in Germany have signed a petition submitted to the German Bundestag demanding a national speed limit, car-free Sundays and a ban on domestic flights to save energy because of the war in Ukraine, Tagesspiegel reports. The petition calls on the federal government to rapidly push ahead with the mobility transition with measures such as a speed limit of 100 kilometres per hour (km/h) on motorways, 30 km/h in towns and cities and 80 km/h on country roads. Signatories are also demanding as an immediate measure car-free Sundays, a ban on domestic flights and an immediate end to subsidies for plug-in hybrid vehicles. In addition, pop-up cycle paths are to be set up in cities and in the countryside and public transport is to be free of charge for three months. "The measures contribute quickly, mostly with little effort and effectively to reduce energy dependency on Russia by reducing fuel consumption," reads the petition application. With the necessary quorum of 50,000 signatures reached on Monday, one day before the statutory deadline, the petition will now be reviewed by the Bundestag’s Petitions Committee. Germany’s Green Party, a member of the ruling coalition along with the the Social Democrats (SPD) and business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP), has pushed for a speed limit of 130 km/h. The FDP, however, continue to reject the calls outlined in the petition. The measures would save 30 million tonnes of CO2, according to activist Tino Pfaff, who submitted the petition.

The petition echoes similar calls for action in the mobility transition by a coalition of environmental groups and police representatives last year to impose a general speed limit on the country’s autobahns.

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