The German madness continues: Transport Minister talks of "comprehensive and indefinite driving bans"


In a letter to the government leaders, Wissing brings up “comprehensive and indefinite driving bans”. The background is the climate protection law and a blockade by the Greens.

Berlin - Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) has warned the parliamentary group leaders of the SPD, Greens and FDP about impending driving bans on all German roads. He will have no choice but to ban the driving of cars, buses and trucks on weekends if the amendment to the Climate Protection Act (KSG) is not passed by July 15th.

The Greens have so far blocked the federal government's decision to reform the KSG, which was made nine months ago. This is about reducing greenhouse gas emissions as a whole and no longer looking at each sector individually. Since the transport sector cannot meet the requirements under normal conditions, the only option is to impose driving bans.

The KSG has so far required the responsible federal government departments to implement emergency programs to ensure compliance with emission levels. It stipulates that emissions of climate-damaging greenhouse gases will be reduced by 65 percent by 2030 compared to 1990. It sets permissible maximum limits for areas such as transport, industry, energy and buildings.

“Driving bans are difficult to communicate to the population”

In his letter, which the Bild newspaper quotes, Wissing complains that the blocking of the new law leads to considerable legal and factual uncertainty, which neither serves the climate nor the reputation of the federal government. According to the transport minister, driving bans would have dramatic consequences for Germany.

Not only would citizens suffer, supply chains could also be permanently disrupted, as a short-term shift in transport from road to rail would be unrealistic. He also fears that tourism will be significantly affected if day visitors “can no longer reach our country by car” on weekends. This would cause significant economic damage.

If the law “does not come into force before July 15, 2024,” Wissing said, his ministry would be obliged to “present an immediate program” to ensure compliance with the “annual emissions volumes of the transport sector” by 2030. This means: “A corresponding reduction in traffic performance would only be possible through restrictive measures that are difficult to communicate to the population, such as nationwide and indefinite driving bans on Saturdays and Sundays.”

It is difficult to explain that people “are only allowed to use their cars on five days of the week, even though we are achieving our climate protection goals overall.”

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