Germany did not sufficiently counteract nitrogen oxide pollution. The main culprit is diesel engines.
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has convicted Germany for excessive levels of nitrogen oxide in the air. Germany violated the relevant EU directive from 2010, judges in Luxembourg decided on Thursday. For now, there are no penalties or sanctions associated with the verdict. The decision is not a surprise – the fact that in Germany the limit of 40 micrograms per cubic meter of air was clearly exceeded in many cities has been known for a long time. Deutsche Welle reports about the case.
The court examined pollution between 2010 and 2016. In 2016, the level of nitrogen oxide in as many as 90 German cities was higher than permitted. Proceedings against Germany were initiated in 2018. In total, the European Commission sued five EU countries: France, Hungary, Italy, Romania and Great Britain. France was convicted in 2019. The main cause of air pollution is diesel exhaust.
Less diesels, less pollution
In the meantime, however, the situation in Germany has improved. The improvement is due to, among others, from software modernization in older models. Some cities have also introduced no-entry zones for old diesels.
Recently, only six cities had nitrogen oxide pollution above the limit value. According to the European Environment Agency, nitrogen oxide emissions were responsible for approx. 9,000 in 2018. premature deaths in Germany.
An exemplary student was caught behaving dishonestly
“This is a shameful verdict for Germany, which likes to present itself as a model student of the European Union. The CJEU judges in harsh words rebuked the ignorance of German policy, which for many years had tacitly accepted the clear exceedance of permissible standards. – “Stuttgarter Zeitung” commented on the judgment.
“Frankfurter Rundschau”, in turn, noted that the government has not yet been able to effectively deal with this scandal.
“Fortunately, the air has become better almost everywhere. However, this is not due to Angela Merkel and her government, but to the persistent fight of German environmental defenders who, by taking legal action, have initiated steps to ensure clean air in many places. – we read.
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