Up close and personal with Mr GDPR
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Government Gazette’s Janani Krishnaswamy caught up with the European Data Protection Supervisor, Giovanni Buttarelli for an exclusive interview to discuss everything relating to the new regulation on personal data protection – the General Data Protection …

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German Chancellor dismisses plan of ‘total’ diesel ban

Submitted by on 23 Mar 2018 – 16:48

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that the country’s federal governments oppose any attempts to ban diesel car from the country’s streets and calls for ‘tailor-made’ efforts to control emissions.

Merkel’s comments on dismissing diesel bans come after a landmark decision by Germany’s highest administrative court in Leipzig, which ruled in favour of upholding diesel bans in the cities of Stuttgart and Düsseldorf, two of the most polluted cities in Germany.

Reassuring car owners in Germany, the government has insisted that nothing would change immediately. Germany’s environment minister, Barbara Hendricks said “Driving bans can be avoided, and my goal is and will remain that they do not come into force.”

Merkel noted that the ban was only relevant to select cities and is not applicable to the entire country.

Commenting on the sidelines of the court decision, the president of the Association of the German Automobile Industry, Matthias Wissmann, said that “ambitious air quality standards in German cities are also achievable without driving bans”.

He suggested that the air quality levels could be brought under control “if and when more vehicles with new exhaust standards entered the car pool”.

Last November, Germany’s government launched a development fund of €1 billion to cut diesel pollution in urban areas and boost investment in green transport. Around one quarter of the fund will allegedly come from German carmakers.

Merkel said the funds would be made available as soon as possible so that local governments could initiate ‘tailor-made’ solutions to improve air quality. The money is to be used for initiatives to make city traffic solutions more environmentally friendly, and to provide more electric charging stations and electric buses.

In a pledge to avert such bans, German car makers have decided to provide software improvements of millions of diesel cars. VW-owned Porsche and Toyota have also indicated that they will stop production of diesel cars.