SEVERE WX : Flood Warning View Alerts

German cities could ban some diesel cars after court ruling

Germany's top court has paved the way for major cities to ban diesel vehicles.The Federal Administrative Court...

Posted: Feb 27, 2018 3:22 PM
Updated: Feb 27, 2018 3:22 PM

Germany's top court has paved the way for major cities to ban diesel vehicles.

The Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig ruled Tuesday that cities in Germany have the right to ban some diesel cars. The decision could fuel efforts to implement similar restrictions across Europe.

The court said that Stuttgart and D-sseldorf, which have some of the most polluted air in Europe, have the authority to implement limited bans that would prevent some cars from driving into the city center. But any measures must be proportionate.

Stuttgart is the hometown of Daimler-owned Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen Group brand Porsche. D-sseldorf and its surrounding area is also a vehicle manufacturing hub.

Dorothee Saar, head of transport and air quality at the environmental lobby group DUH, said that bans could be introduced this year. DUH had been pressing the court to allow diesel bans in order to combat air pollution.

"This ruling gives long-awaited legal clarity that diesel restrictions are legally permissible and will unavoidably start a domino effect across the country," said Ugo Taddei, an environmental lawyer from ClientEarth who worked on the case. "Putting traffic restrictions on the most polluting vehicles is the quickest and most effective way to protect people from harmful air pollution."

The minister of transportation for the Stuttgart region, Winfried Hermann, said local clean air plans would be revised immediately and could include restrictions on highly polluting vehicles. The court said that Stuttgart should also consider restrictions on gasoline-powered cars that do not meet certain emissions standards.

Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler have been bracing for new restrictions on diesels amid rising public concern over air pollution and its negative health effects. Anger has been fueled by revelations that Volkswagen had been cheating on diesel emissions tests, allowing its vehicles to emit excessive levels of nitrogen oxide.

Related: Germans are falling out of love with their carmakers

Bans are likely to hurt demand for diesel vehicles in Germany, and deliver a blow to the country's massive auto manufacturing industry. About a third of cars in Germany run on diesel. Shares in Volkswagen dropped 1.2% on Tuesday. Daimler and BMW posted milder losses.

Volkswagen said that it was "unable to comprehend" the court's decision.

"It threatens to produce a regulatory hotchpotch in Germany, which is unsettling for millions of motorists," the automaker said in a statement. "How this decision can be implemented in concrete terms is currently still completely unclear."

Daimler declined to comment. BMW did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The European Commission -- the top regulator in the European Union -- has threatened legal action against Germany and other countries over high levels of air pollution. Germany is home to 26 cities that frequently exceed EU air pollution limits, more than any other country in the region.

The Commission estimates that over 400,000 people die prematurely each year because of air pollution and nitrogen oxide emissions in the EU.

Diesel cars emit far more harmful air pollutants than gasoline, yet they've been popular in Europe for decades because governments offered tax incentives in the hope of reducing CO2 emissions. (Diesel engines were thought to be more fuel efficient.)

Vehicles are responsible for around 40% of nitrogen oxide emissions in the EU, with the vast majority coming from diesels.

-- CNN's Nadine Schmidt contributed to this report.

West Lafayette
Overcast
55° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 55°
Kokomo
Overcast
56° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 56°
Rensselaer
Overcast
50° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 50°
Fowler
Overcast
50° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 50°
Williamsport
Overcast
53° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 53°
Crawfordsville
Overcast
57° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 57°
Frankfort
Overcast
57° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 57°
Delphi
Overcast
51° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 51°
Monticello
Overcast
51° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 51°
Logansport
Overcast
55° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 55°
Near Record Heat On The Way
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 150664

Reported Deaths: 4008
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion24697784
Lake13220352
St. Joseph8877159
Elkhart8469132
Allen7880222
Hamilton5962113
Vanderburgh559360
Tippecanoe354714
Monroe320738
Hendricks3183130
Johnson2995128
Porter297848
Clark285461
Delaware282074
Vigo252637
Madison229593
Cass222021
LaPorte215557
Warrick188464
Kosciusko176823
Floyd174867
Howard158866
Bartholomew139758
Dubois135125
Marshall132526
Henry122628
Grant120939
Wayne119327
Boone118848
Hancock114145
Noble113533
Jackson108713
Morgan92240
Dearborn91628
Daviess84033
Gibson83411
Clinton81616
Shelby79429
Lawrence78534
LaGrange76715
Harrison74024
Putnam71016
Knox70310
DeKalb69411
Posey6796
Steuben6008
Fayette58517
Miami5845
Montgomery57222
White56815
Jasper5624
Greene51837
Scott50813
Decatur49839
Adams4725
Clay4346
Whitley4316
Sullivan42812
Ripley4228
Wells4155
Starke3937
Wabash3919
Orange38725
Huntington3785
Spencer3706
Franklin36525
Jennings36013
Washington3592
Randolph3398
Fulton3362
Jefferson3305
Pike31913
Carroll31413
Perry29514
Jay2876
Fountain2863
Tipton26823
Parke2203
Newton21811
Vermillion2181
Rush2044
Owen2021
Martin1950
Blackford1923
Crawford1491
Pulaski1471
Brown1303
Ohio1227
Benton1070
Union1040
Switzerland890
Warren751
Unassigned0233

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events