Diesel cars could disappear from Germany’s cities very soon, following a court ruling.
The Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig, one of the highest courts in the country, has given local authorities the autonomy to ban diesel cars from their vicinity. The focus will be placed on older vehicles, which produce higher emissions, causing more environmental damage.
Stuttgart and Dusseldorf were in the spotlight, due to the respective cities ongoing pollution problems. It is now felt, however, that the initiation of such measures could have further repercussions across Europe.
The ruling hasn’t been met with universal acclaim, however, as many of Germany’s leading car manufacturers have expressed their concerns at the new measures.
According to Endgadget:
“Campaigners, such as Jürgen Resch of environmental group Deutsche Umwelthilfe, have called the ruling “a great day for clean air in Germany.” Experts believe high levels of nitrogen oxide (NOx), which frequently exceeds the EU threshold of 40 micrograms of NOx per cubic meter, causes between 6,000 and 13,000 deaths every year in the country.”
The case was brought to court on behalf of several environmental groups, such as ClientEarth, who spoke to The Guardian about the ruling.
“Ugo Taddei, a lawyer for ClientEarth called the decision “an incredible result for people’s health”, and suggested it could have an impact in foreign courts. “This ruling gives us legal clarity which we’ve long waited for, that diesel restrictions are legally permissible and will necessarily trigger a domino effect across the country, impacting as well on other legal cases,” he told German media.
ClientEarth believed that imposing traffic restrictions on the most polluting vehicles was the most effective way of improving protection from air pollution, he said.”
It certainly speeds up Germany’s proposal to ban all combustion engine cars by 2030, and will undoubtedly benefit cities effected by chronic pollution, caused by diesel and petrol emissions.