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Germany pushes to ban petrol-fuelled cars within next 20 years

The resolution urges the European Commission to implement the ban across the European Union 

Tuesday 11 October 2016 07:17 BST
View of the Berlin skyline seen from Potsdamer Platz to Alexanderplatz
View of the Berlin skyline seen from Potsdamer Platz to Alexanderplatz (Getty Images )

Germany’s federal council, the Bundesrat, has passed a resolution calling for a ban on combustion engine cars by 2030.

If the ban were to go through, German citizens would only be permitted to purchase electric or hydrogen-fuelled cars.

The resolution, which has received cross-party support but has no legislative effect, calls on the European Commission to implement the ban across the European Union.

It also urges the European Commission to “review the current practices of taxation and dues with regard to a stimulation of emission-free mobility.”

Greens party lawmaker Oliver Krischer said the ban is needed to reach the requirements put forward in the Paris agreement.

“If the Paris agreement to curb climate-warming emissions is to be taken seriously, no new combustion engine cars should be allowed on roads after 2030,” Mr Krischer told Spiegel.

A switch to zero-emission cars is likely to put thousands of German auto industry jobs at risk as electric cars only require 10 per cent of the work force to assemble.

Greenpeace UK's air pollution campaigner Areeba Hamid told The Independent the plans could be a huge moment in the battle against air pollution.

"The German car industry is one of the most powerful in the world. If this bill is passed into law, it could be a pivotal moment in the shift towards a cleaner transport system and the battle against air pollution,” Ms Hamid told The Independent.

“If the German government can stand up to an influential car lobby, why can't the UK government do the same? Widespread concerns about air pollution and climate change combined with technological innovation are making the electric car revolution almost inevitable.

“The question now is whether ministers want to drag their feet until the very last minute or whether they're ready to embrace a transport system fit for the 21st-century and reap the public health and economic rewards that come with it."

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