Aachen set to be second German city with diesel ban
Aachen is set to become the second German city to impose a ban on higher-polluting diesel vehicles operating in inner-city areas.
The regional court in Aachen has today (9 June) ruled that the authorities must put a diesel ban in place by January 2019. The ruling follows on from legal action by Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) and environmental lawyers ClientEarth.
As previously reported by Post&Parcel, last month the city of Hamburg prohibited diesel vehicles that do not meet Euro-VI emissions standards from using certain inner city streets.
In a statement sent to Post&Parcel today, ClientEarth said: “Today’s hearing in Aachen was Germany’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. Environmental lawyers say it has set the direction for all German clean air cases still waiting to be heard – and the deadline may be a blueprint for other courts.”
ClientEarth CEO James Thornton commented: “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.”
DUH CEO Jürgen Resch said: “We call on all regional governments currently struggling with illegally dirty air to put in equivalent diesel restrictions. Otherwise we will legally enforce these standards, town by town. The regional court has confirmed that these measures are both and proportionate and beneficial for the quality of life in Aachen, which its leadership has previously refused to accept.”
And in related news, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today announced that the city’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will be expanded to the North and South Circular roads in 2021.