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Published on March 18th, 2018 | by James Ayre


Germany’s New Transport Minister Opposes Diesel Car Bans & Forced Retrofits … But Claims To Be No “Buddy” Of Auto Manufacturers

March 18th, 2018 by  

The new transport minister in Germany has been quoted as saying that he opposes the banning of diesel cars and opposes forcing auto manufacturers to retrofit old diesel cars so that they meet current emissions standards, but also that he is not a “buddy” of the auto manufacturers.

Oh, and the new transport minister also opposes the introduction of a badge system that would identify the diesel cars that pollute the most. That all being the case, how can the new minister, Andreas Scheuer, possibly claim that he isn’t siding with the auto manufacturers, and against public health?

To hear him tell it, it’s because he is on the side of diesel car owners and auto industry workers.

Scheuer stated (to Bild): “I don’t see myself as a buddy of automobile bosses but rather as the mate of those working on the production lines and as someone who represents the interests of diesel vehicle owners.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel of course opposes the introduction of a badge system as well, due to worries that such a system would seemingly hurt the sale of diesel cars. The official line from Merkel, though, is that “a badge scheme would let off the hook cities that should instead focus on finding locally appropriate ways of improving air quality, for instance by retrofitting public transport vehicles,” as reported by Reuters.

“Whether it’s blue badges, light blue badges,” Scheuer continued, “badges are the wrong method. I reject their introduction like my predecessor Alexander Dobrindt did. They are the first step toward driving bans.”

Reuters provides more: “Some officials have proposed a system of ‘blue badges’ that would allow cities with particularly bad air quality to selectively ban dirtier diesel cars from their streets. But Scheuer said he, like his predecessor Alexander Dobrindt, who was often accused of being too closely tied to the country’s car industry, opposed any move in that direction.

“… But he insisted he would be tough with carmakers, promising ‘new, very, very serious talks’ with carmakers on diesel pollution. Asked whether car companies would be forced generally to retrofit diesel cars, he said he expected the companies to cooperate but added: ‘Forcing is not the way I do politics.'”

Overall, that just sounds like a bunch of excuses, doesn’t it? I’m distinctly getting the impression that the government of Germany is going to stall on this matter for as long as possible, no matter how ridiculous it comes across. Perhaps regional and city-level authorities will move faster?

Related: Minister Of Largest German State Taken To Court On Diesel Bans 
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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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