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German ruling on diesel vehicles highlights challenges in addressing pollution, says says Dr Frederik Dahlmann

"The ruling highlights the continuing challenges of effectively addressing climate change and air pollution. It particularly shines the light on the competing interests between politicians at national and local levels as well as those of car manufacturers and users.

"Like the energy transition more broadly, finding acceptable ways to decarbonise the transport sector depends on many factors including whether to rely on industry and technology developments, on national policies or on locally-driven interventions.

"Britain faces very similar challenges in that even when ignoring the wider imperatives of climate change, localised air pollution from diesel cars in inner cities remains a significant problem. While it is unclear whether and how the cities in Germany will proceed with their bans, the simple fact that they have won the legal right for doing this is likely to shift consumers’ buying behaviour towards petrol, hybrid and electric vehicles.

"At the same time, those reliant on older diesel-powered vehicles will feel discriminated against, particularly when they cannot afford to change cars. Ultimately, only integrated transport and energy policies that consider all sources and uses of fuels and mobility needs will be effective in reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The UK should develop such policies together with industry and consumers."

27 February 2018


Ashley Potter - Press & PR Executive, WBS

E: Ashley dot potter at wbs dot ac dot uk

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