Germany’s second diesel ban likely to have ‘domino effect’
Germany is to get its second diesel ban by 2019 after a judge in a regional court rules that it must go ahead.
The final hearing was the result of legal action by Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) and environmental lawyers ClientEarth, marking the country’s first clean air hearing since the landmark Leipzig decision, which clarified that diesel bans can be implemented by regional authorities where air pollution exceeds legal limits.
The hearing had been delayed until the Federal Administrative Court, Germany’s highest court, had ruled on local air quality zones in February.
Environmental lawyers say both the ruling and the deadline may prove definitive for all German clean air cases still waiting to be heard.
ClientEarth CEO James Thornton said: “The domino effect we expected to see is now underway in earnest. February’s ruling in the Federal Administrative Court was made it absolutely clear – diesel restrictions are not only possible, but necessary, to bring illegal and harmful air pollution down in Germany’s towns and cities. We are anticipating similar outcomes across Germany in the coming months, as our other cases are heard.
“The German government must now be proactive. It is still fighting to protect diesel when evidence suggests even the newest models can be a health threat. The diesel debacle has gone on for far too long – we need a standardised national approach and leadership from the top.”
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