Ace demands abolition of environmental zones

According to the ACE auto club europa, environmental zones to reduce fine dust pollution no longer fulfill their original purpose. The underlying fine dust ordinance from 2007 is the beginning of a success story, but it is not the end of the story. The further use of the environmental zones in approximately 60 german cities is however doubtful, said an ACE speaker before the 52nd session of the bundestag. Traffic court day to begin in goslar on wednesday. Because in the meantime, almost all cars meet the requirements to be allowed to drive in environmental zones. This also applies to diesel vehicles.

Federal minister of transport alexander dobrindt (CSU) should therefore examine whether environmental zones are still appropriate and justified today, the ACE demanded. The german city council spoke out in favor of retaining the zones. Until all european standards for particulate matter and nitrogen oxides are met, they are an important instrument for protecting people from health hazards.

According to the ACE, 96.4 percent of the 43.3 million passenger cars in germany were allowed to enter the environmental zones in 2013. In 2007, by contrast, the proportion of heavily polluting cars was still around 26 percent. The car club based its assessment on figures from the federal motor transport authority (KBA).

The entire bureaucratic effort with stickers for the environmental zones is currently only carried out because of the further decreasing remaining stock of about 1.5 million older cars, said ACE spokesman rainer hillgartner. This also included around 154,000.000 classic cars, which were allowed to enter environmental zones despite increased particulate matter levels.

According to the ACE, it is indisputable that particulate pollution in many cities has decreased since the introduction of environmental zones. "However, it is not a bureaucratic monster covered in stickers that is responsible for better air, but the steadily growing number of clean cars."Catalytic converters and particulate filters and the associated tax breaks had contributed significantly to the reduction of pollutants.

According to the city council, the municipalities have a completely different demand. "Cities are also making every effort to reduce emissions through urban planning, traffic planning and regulatory requirements," said chief executive stephan articus. "However, this pushed them to their limits."

"Especially with regard to the particularly harmful nitrogen oxides, a stricter regulation by the federal government would be desirable," said articus. EU, federal government and countries should "finally take efficient measures at the source". The euro 6 emissions standard for new cars must be introduced as soon as possible and not – as planned – at the end of 2015.