Diesel ban in Germany could cause 'Fukushima moment for diesel in Europe'

Diesel ban in Germany could cause 'Fukushima moment for diesel in Europe'

German cities were recently allowed to after a recent ruling was passed.

The country’s top administrative court gave them the go ahead to restrict the use of the most polluting cars on the road.

Major cities such as Stuttgart, Dusseldorf and Hamburg are all contemplating bans, with the latter implementing limits by the end of April.

Experts have now predict that it could cause a “Fukushima moment for diesel in Europe”

“We really do welcome it and we see potentially this could be the Fukushima moment for diesel in Europe,” said Julia Poliscanova, an air quality expert at Transport & Environment.

“It’s important for giving momentum to many other cities to really think seriously about whether these bans are the most effective way of stopping pollution from diesel.”

Poliscanova went on to say that the German ruling could act as the main catalyst to effectively deal with particulate pollution.

“I think the wider impact of the ban is to send a really strong signal and might really start the phase-out of cars in city centres,” added Poliscanova

“Because it’s going to lead to a drop in their resale value and it really pushes consumers away from those cars.

“Citizens in cities especially are going to see a bigger turn away from diesel and a bigger uptake of electric vehicles.

“The problem of the uptake of electric vehicles is manufacturers are not supplying them on the market, they’re not interested, there’s no incentive.

“There’s a massive lack of supply. And therefore consumers that want to buy an electric vehicle have to wait up to a year.”

Particulate pollution is produced in higher quantities in cars than it is in petrol and can cause respiratory issues.

There is an ongoing air pollution problem across Europe with 130 cities in 23 countries in the EU breaching air quality limits.

Anna Heslop, clean air lawyer for ClientEarth, told Euronews, that the move by Germany could be a bargaining chip to get other countries to comply across Europe.

“We will use these judgements and come to the other courts and say: ‘Look the German court is willing to do this, so you have to do something ambitious as well’.

“We think it’s a turning point. We think it’s a very important ruling. And Germany is a huge country and they have a lot of diesel cars and with that, they have a lot of problems.

“It should have a really big effect on people’s health when they start to exclude the most-polluting vehicles from the polluted areas.

“We know that air pollution from diesel cars can have a really bad impact on people who already have lung problems and it can exacerbate certain cancers.

“It causes slowing down of children’s lung development that children will carry with them for the rest of their lives. It could have a really huge health impact.”

The UK will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2040 and before then a number of Clean Air Zones will be introduced which will ban drivers or force them to pay a daily fee to drive in them.

Rome will ban diesel cars from driving in the city centre by 2024, in a bid to slash air pollution.

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