The Strategist

The German court to decide the fate of the diesel ban

02/19/2018 - 14:19

The German court will have to determine whether German cities have an authority to impose a ban on diesel cars, potentially leading to multi-million losses in the country's automobile market, Reuters reports.

Automobile Italia via flickr
Automobile Italia via flickr
The DUH environmental group filed lawsuits over EU air pollution levels after the scandal with the falsification of data on exhaust emissions in Volkswagen vehicles was revealed.

The scandal forced politicians around the world to carefully study the levels of diesel emissions that contain the substance and nitrogen oxide (NOx) and are known to cause respiratory diseases.

There are about 15 million diesel vehicles in Germany, so environmental groups claim that air pollution levels in German cities exceed the EU threshold. According to environmentalists, this applies to at least 90 cities in Germany.

Local courts ordered that the authorities prohibit the use of diesel cars that do not meet the latest standards in the days of the highest air pollution.

This can lead to negative consequences for automakers, as a direct ban will lead to a drop in prices for resale cars and increase the cost of leasing contracts.

The German lands, where automakers and their suppliers have a strong influence, appealed against the decisions, leaving the final decision to the German Federal Administrative Court. It is up to this court of last resort to decide whether such bans can be taken at the local level.

"The key question is whether the prohibitions can already be considered legal instruments," said Remo Klinger, a lawyer at DUH. "This is a completely open question of law."

Paris, Madrid, Mexico City and Athens said they plan to ban diesel vehicles in urban centres by 2025, and the mayor of Copenhagen wants to ban the entry of diesel cars into the city next year. France and the United Kingdom will ban new gasoline and diesel cars by 2040; they should be replaced by electric vehicles.