German court could open way to bans on diesel cars

Posted: February 20, 2018 by oldbrew in Emissions, Legal, News, Travel

Image credit:

The VW diesel scandal has led to media-fuelled paranoia about diesel engines in general, so any result is possible from this court hearing. Diesel vehicles could be banned from central Stuttgart, where Mercedes-Benz makes thousands of them every week and is a key employer.

One of Germany’s top courts will decide Thursday whether some diesel vehicles can be banned from parts of cities like Stuttgart and Duesseldorf to reduce air pollution, a possible landmark judgement for the “car nation”, reports

Eyes have turned to the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig after years of failure by federal, state and local governments to slash harmful emissions.

Fine particle pollution and nitrogen oxides (NOx) contribute to as many as 400,000 premature deaths from respiratory and cardiovascular disease per year in the European Union.

That has brought Germany and other air quality sinners like France or Italy into the European Commission’s sights for possible legal action.

Some 70 cities in Europe’s most populous nation suffered from average annual nitrogen dioxide levels above EU thresholds last year, with Munich, Stuttgart and Cologne the worst offenders.

“The air is bad here, you cough and you get a scratchy throat, especially in winter,” clean air campaigner Peter Erben told AFP standing beside the exhaust-blackened facades of Stuttgart’s busy Neckartor main road.

“We want immediate action, and there is no more immediate action than reducing traffic.”

After years of warnings, environmental campaign group Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) took dozens of municipalities to court to force them into tougher action.

Thursday’s case is an appeal by Baden-Wuerttemberg and North Rhine-Westphalia states after lower-level judges ruled they could impose bans on some diesels in their respective capitals Stuttgart and Duesseldorf.

An in-principle decision could be announced during the day after deliberations begin at 1000 GMT.

“It’s a question of jurisdiction: can or must a state act, or is it up to the federal government to do it?” Baden-Wuerttemberg transport minister Winfried Hermann told AFP.
. . .
A ruling would affect all vehicles sold before so-called “Euro 6” standards arrived in September 2015.

Continued here.
– – –
UPDATE: German court postpones ruling on diesel bans [until Tuesday 27 Feb.]

  1. Saighdear says:

    One could say an awful lot about these issues – but sadly, the outcomes through the judicial system is becoming increasingly politicised. Just no reasoning. “What is the difference between someone who is stupid and another who is an idiot? Stupid – you can teach…. ” But when you have the Blind leading the Blind and P.C. getting involved, it’s a recipe for disaster. NOTE the Headline on this article is misleading too.

  2. tom0mason says:

    “Fine particle pollution and nitrogen oxides (NOx) contribute to as many as 400,000 premature deaths from respiratory and cardiovascular disease per year in the European Union.”

    What an interesting line.
    I suppose this figure comes from yet more unreliable fantasy computer model.

  3. Hunterace says:

    I think it is a statistical ‘ trick’. It means thousands of people about to die anyway might die a couple of days early…but doesn’t sound like that does it?

  4. Bitter@twisted says:

    This is another load of alarmist rubbish.
    NOx and PM10s have all decreased significantly over the past 15 years.
    Checkout the Government’s own figures.
    These “excess deaths” only exist in computer models..
    Look at Ross McItrick’s analyses.
    They will tell you all you need.

  5. oldbrew says:

    Anything that might push the idea of electric cars is favoured. Recharging millions of them on a still night when there’s no solar power could prove ‘interesting’ 😉

  6. Graeme No.3 says:

    Simple, recharge with diesel generators. I would add a /sarc tag but all to often more renewables means more diesel generators.

  7. oldbrew says:

    Supply of diesel could get restricted 😦

  8. tom0mason says:

    Thankfully this action is taking place in Europe’s champion virtue signalling nation, and gives yet another reason why the UK should be pursuing BREXIT with the utmost vigour.

  9. Bitter&twisted says:

    OT but Jonova has a very interesting graph showing the effect of “renewables” on electricity prices.

  10. oldbrew says:

    Now the British version…

    Government loses clean air court case

    Campaigners have won a third High Court victory over the UK government’s plans to tackle air pollution.

    The judge in the case said the government plan was “unlawful” and that more action was needed in 45 English local authority areas.

    He said ministers had to ensure that in each of the areas, steps were taken to comply with the law as soon as possible.

  11. oldbrew says:

    Judges to rule on diesel bans in choking German cities
    February 22, 2018

    Judges are to rule Thursday on whether German cities can ban old diesel cars to reduce air pollution, with potentially dramatic consequences for a key industry and transport policy in Europe’s largest economy.
    . . .
    Diesel’s bad image and the prospect of bans have already pushed sales of the German-invented motors into a deep slump, from 48 percent of new cars sold in 2015 to 39 percent last year.

    Such reputational damage has pressured carmakers into stepping up plans to introduce more electric models in coming years.

    But after repeated delays from industry and government, Thursday’s case “could be the one that changes the country, its mobility and its industry” for good, daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung summed up.

    Read more at:
    – – –
    New diesels (Euro 6) wouldn’t be affected by any ‘bans’.

  12. oldbrew says:

    Will taxpayers foot the bill for Dieselgate?

    A new proposal has been leaked to German media: The taxpayer is to shoulder the burden for retrofitting diesel cars equipped with manipulated emission chips. Will consumers end up covering the costs of the scandal?

  13. oldbrew says:

    Car-mad Germany anxious as court to rule on diesel bans
    February 27, 2018

    A top German court will issue a hotly-awaited decision Tuesday on whether cities can ban older diesel cars from some areas, potentially upending transport policy and a disrupting a keystone industry.

    Judges at the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig last Thursday adjourned over the weekend, saying they needed more time to “deliberate very thoroughly” on the issue.

    From 1100 GMT they will once again be in the spotlight, ruling on whether the cities of Stuttgart and Duesseldorf can legally ban older, more polluting diesel vehicles from zones worst afflicted with air pollution.

    A finding in favour of environmentalist plaintiffs Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) would not only affect the states of Baden-Wuerttemberg and North Rhine-Westphalia, whose respective capitals are on the docket, but the whole country.

    Read more at: