Cities across Germany have won the right to put a ban on older cars fuelled by diesel following a milestone ruling.
Despite the monumental breakthrough, it should be stated the ruling isn’t mandatory and the local governments do not have to enforce the ban. Furthermore, both the government and the car industry have publicly opposed it.
Both fear that by banning the older models running on diesel, it’ll result in German lives being disrupted and their cars dropping in value.
However, the ruling was a response from Germany’s highest federal administrative court after states had appealed against the bans imposed by local courts, whose cases were brought forward by environmental group, DUH.
They deemed the ban essential after it was revealed an estimated 70 cities in Germany had eclipsed the EU’s nitrogen oxide (NOx) level limits last year.
According to the BBC, ‘Diesel emissions containing nitrogen oxide can trigger respiratory disease’.
Diesel-fuelled cars have come under intense scrutiny following Volkswagen’s 2015 ‘diesel-gate scandal’.
The German car manufacturers were forced to admit they’d been using non-regulatory software to fudge the numbers on US emission tests, which resulted in at least 11 million of their cars being affected by the scandal.
DUH managing director, Juergen Resch, hailed the new ruling as ‘a great day for clean air in Germany’, stating his hopes for these bans to signal the beginning of the end for the car industry’s ‘resistance’ to readjusting older, more-polluting models to meet the EU’s current standards.
Germany has also resorted to offering free public transport in a bid to tackle their emissions crisis.
It was revealed a trial for a free public transport system would be put in place in five cities across western Germany, including former capital Bonn as well as industrial cities Essen and Mannheim. The aim is to make free transport fully active by ‘the end of this year’.
These drastic moves have come along after it was revealed Germany (along with eight other EU members – including Spain, France and Italy) failed to meet the January 30 deadline on the EU’s limits for nitrogen dioxide and fine particles.
Despite failing to meet this, the eight countries were given an extension to put forward future pollution-reduction solutions.
Should they fail to meet the new time period, these countries will face legal action and a hefty fine.