German state appealing ban on diesels

October 4, 2017

The German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg is set to appeal a ruling that would prohibit diesel vehicles from entering the capital city of Stuttgart. The ban, which was slated to begin at the start of 2018, will now be suspended while the appeal process takes place.

German environmental lobby Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) filed the original lawsuit late in 2015 as direct consequence of Volkswagen’s Dieselgate scandal. The group’s stated aim is to bring attention to the breathing quality of air, and it targeted Stuttgart as not only a city with high levels of air pollution, but as a key player in the automotive world.

With the headquarters of both Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler and VW subsidiary Porsche, as well as major automotive suppliers Bosch and Mahle, Stuttgart is one of the German automotive industry’s most important cities. It is also no stranger to the emissions-cheating scandals, with both Mercedes and Bosch facing ongoing investigations by the German government.

Even without the lawsuit, Stuttgart plans its own diesel ban — but only on cars that do not conform to strict European Union emissions standards — on high pollution days. That isn’t enough, argues DUH, which pushes for a complete and total ban on diesel propulsion in a drive to reduce NOx emissions.

Lawyers for the lobby had earlier persuaded a lower court to impose the ban, but the regional government of Baden-Wuerttemberg insists it needs more time to properly vet the ruling’s ramifications.

With the appeal now in place, diesels on the streets of Stuttgart will receive a stay of execution.

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