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The country where the internal combustion engine originated might be among the first to ban it.
Germany’s Federal Administrative Court ruled Tuesday that cities have the right to ban gasoline and diesel vehicles in an attempt to curb pollution.
“These vehicles have no place in our cities anymore,” Jürgen Resch, the managing director of an environmental group called Deutsche Umwelthilfe, told The New York Times. Resch’s group brought suit after German governments who had failed to take action against polluting vehicles.
The suit demanded that German cities start enforcing air quality standards mandated by the European Union (EU), The Times reported. Enforcing those standards would require cities to ban many older diesel vehicles.
“Limited bans for certain diesel cars are within the law,” the court ruled. The Federal Administrative Court is one of the highest in Germany.
The city of Paris, which has some of the worst smog in Europe, has already banned vehicles built before 1997, Car Insurance Samurai reported. The French government wants to get rid of all gas and diesel vehicles by 2040.
Three German cities — Stuttgart, Munich and Dusseldorf — are considering banning diesel. Resch expects the first diesel bans in Germany to be enacted by fall of this year. It is not known how the ban would impact Germany’s auto industry, which has promoted diesel for decades and employs 800,000 people.
Germany was the country where the automobile was invented by Karl Benz in 1885.
“The days of flooding the inner cities with poisonous diesel emissions are over,” Resch said.
Many people around the world seem to agree with his sentiment.
City governments in Madrid and Athens want to ban diesel vehicles completely, and officials in the United Kingdom hope to ban diesel completely by 2040, The New York Times reported. The government of India wants to require all cars to be electric by 2030, CNN Money reported.
China Vice Minister of Information Zin Guobin told reporters his government wants to ban the sale of new fossil fuel burning vehicles by 2030, The Economist reported. Closer to home, Mary Nichols, the chairman of California’s Air Resources board, said she would like to see a ban on internal combustion vehicles by 2040.
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