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Client Earth and DUH win Frankfurt diesel ban case

Diesel pump

The Administrative Court in Wiesbaden has ruled that the city of Frankfurt must put restrictions on diesel vehicles by February 2019, marking another win for Client Earth and Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH)

A landmark ruling by Germany’s top court in February made clear that diesel bans are legally possible – and necessary where it is the quickest, most effective way to reduce harmful air pollution in urban areas, say activists.

The ruling resolved the legal question for all ongoing clean air cases in Germany, and has triggered a domino effect of diesel restrictions, they said.

According to the ruling, authorities must place restrictions on diesel vehicles up to and including Euro 4 by February 2019, adding restrictions on Euro 5 diesel vehicles by September 2019.

ClientEarth lawyer Ugo Taddei said: “Germany’s top court set the direction in February and we are now seeing the domino effect kick in.

"Courts have now ordered diesel bans in Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, Munich, Stuttgart and Aachen.

“The trend is unmistakeable but the Federal government is still failing to take the lead. It needs to implement a national system to make diesel restrictions work from region to region and order car manufacturers to fix dirty diesel vehicles.

“While Federal ministers are digging in their heels on diesel bans and mooting partial and ineffective solutions to combat dangerous air pollution, people are still being forced to breathe dirty air that will affect them for the rest of their lives.

"Germany needs to stop playing for time and get on top of its pollution problem. Every delay comes at the expense of people’s health.”

DUH’s chief executive Jürgen Resch said: “This is a one hundred percent victory in an extremely important case.

"The judge agreed with us completely and committed Hessen’s authorities to introduce a very intelligent and wide-ranging mixture of measures to bring air pollution down.

“This sets an example for the rest of the country. We need to see fewer private cars, more and cleaner public transport and most importantly, clean air for the people of Germany.

"Politicians need to decide on their priority: answering to the car industry or protecting people’s health.”

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