Berlin court orders German capital to impose diesel ban

Berlin court orders German capital to impose diesel ban
Copyright  REUTERS
By Cristina Abellan Matamoros  with AFP, Reuters

A Berlin court ruled on Tuesday that the German capital should impose driving bans on some roads for diesel cars whose emissions of nitrogen oxide exceed permitted limits.

Older diesel car models could be banned from major roads in Berlin after a court ordered the German capital to follow in the footsteps of Hamburg, Frankfurt, and Stuttgart and establish exclusion zones for them.

The bans will affect vehicles meeting the 'Euro 5 or older' emissions standards, said the court.

This follows a series of courtroom actions that focus on air quality after Volkswagen’s 2015 “dieselgate” scandal in which the German automaker admitted they had changed regulatory tests on 11 million cars worldwide.

Berlin judges believe that to decrease levels of the harmful nitrogen oxide emissions, city authorities “must order a driving ban for the streets where the threshold is not met”.

"The current clean air plan does not include sufficient measures to meet annual limits for nitrogen dioxide (NO2)," said Berlin judges.

Authorities will have to present a new version of their clean air plan by March 31.

Judges want the driving ban to be implemented within “two or three months” after that. However, they’ve left the option open for officials to appeal the decision to a higher Berlin court.

Hamburg, which is being taken as a model city, has already closed two major roads to certain diesel models.

Similar bans were also ordered in Frankfurt and Stuttgart.

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