Bundestag adopts rules for diesel driving bans

Bundestag adopts rules for diesel driving bans

Exemptions for new diesel cars, spot checks only: the grand coalition wants to keep the consequences of driving bans in cities as low as possible.

One of the most important regulations passed by the bundestag in berlin on thursday: as a rule, restrictions on the use of older diesels will only be considered acceptable in cities where the limit values for harmful nitrogen dioxide (NO2) are relatively clearly exceeded. The lander are expected to approve the package of laws this friday in the bundesrat (upper house of parliament). In the future, the coalition intends to hold regular top-level talks with the auto industry in order to pave the way for the important sector.

State secretary for the environment florian pronold (SPD) emphasized that the limit value would not be changed. "Driving bans are a harsh remedy, and they are only acceptable if it is not foreseeable by other means that the limit values can be complied with in the very near future."From the opposition came sharp criticism.

In the bundestag, the amendment to the road traffic act required a so-called "jump of the mutton," since the normal vote did not produce a clear majority of the grand coalition, as vice president wolfgang kubicki noted. In the process, delegates have to go through three doors – for approval, disapproval and abstention – in the plenary chamber.

Chancellor angela merkel (CDU), who was attending a meeting of the coalition committee of the CDU/CSU and the SPD, also returned to the plenum for this purpose. The payout resulted in a majority of 51 votes, which kubicki commented with "once again gone well.

The most important points of the diesel legislation that has been passed:

– driving bans should "as a rule" be unbearable if annual average NO2 levels do not exceed 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air. The EU limit value is 40 micrograms and thus remains unchanged – but in the case of relatively low exceedance, it is to be achieved by other means, not by banning old diesels.

– where there are driving bans, the still fairly new euro 6 diesels are to be exempt, as are retrofitted buses, heavy-duty municipal vehicles such as those used by refuse collection and fire departments and by private waste disposal companies, and retrofitted tradesmen’s and delivery vehicles.

– even older diesels that emit less than 270 milligrams of nitrogen oxide per kilometer after an improvement in exhaust gas purification are not to be affected by driving bans.

– driving bans are to be monitored on the basis of the license plates only on a random basis and with mobile control units. Secret recordings and videos are not allowed, the data must be deleted after two weeks at the latest.

– in addition, it is expressly reiterated that municipalities may allow further exceptions – especially under the existing regulation, if "unpostponable and overriding reasons of public welfare so require".

Time is running out, because in hamburg and stuttgart there are already driving bans for older diesels. Others could soon follow. Recent data from the state environmental authorities show that the limit value is still well exceeded in many cities, and several court cases are still pending following complaints by deutsche umwelthilfe.

Merkel, the heads of the coalition government and several ministers also discussed the long-term future of transport in germany on thursday: in the chancellor’s office, they met the heads of a commission set up by the government for this purpose, the "national platform on the future of mobility. Representatives of the automobile industry, employees, environmental protection associations, the railroad and the ADAC, among others, are working on a concept for modern mobility.

In future, the coalition will hold regular top-level talks with the auto industry to make the sector, which is very important for germany, fit for the future. "In view of the rapid and far-reaching changes in the automotive industry", the union and the SPD are planning a "concerted mobilitat action", as stated in a results paper of the coalition committee, which was made available to the deutsche presse-agentur on thursday. They wanted regular talks "to identify the need for political action and to implement it in a sustainable strategy"."

What is expected with particular excitement is what will happen in a "generation change" that is to take place on 29 june. Marz expected interim report on climate protection stands. Greenhouse gas emissions from transport have not decreased over the past 20 years, but are expected to fall by 40 to 42 percent over the next ten years. The black-red coalition had agreed on this goal in 2016, and the current grand coalition commits to it in the coalition agreement.

In front of the chancellor’s office, greenpeace activists demonstrated for a rethink in traffic policy: they placed a car with the inscription "please turn around" directly in front of the entrance!"The car was so high that it looked as if it was stuck with the hood in the ground – and forced environment minister svenja schulze (SPD) and economics minister peter altmaier (CDU), among others, to go to fub to merkel’s office.


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