German transport minister opposes autobahn speed restriction after study reveals benefits for the environment

After a study revealed that the policy may reduce emissions by nearly three times more than previously believed, German Transport Minister Volker Wissing reiterated his opposition to a general speed limit on the nation’s autobahns. The Free Democrat (FDP) reportedly stated, “Speed belongs to the citizens’ own duty as long as others are not endangered.” “The state need to wait here,” High energy costs “are already pushing many people to drive more slowly,” Wissing continued. According to a survey by Germany’s UBA environmental agency, a 120 kph speed restriction on motorways would save CO2 emissions by nearly 6.7 million tonnes annually. According to a prior assessment from 2020 by the UBA that used a different approach, a speed limit would cut emissions by 2.6 million tonnes.

Wissing is under intense pressure to finally establish a program to reduce transportation emissions, which have remained persistently high for decades. Germany aspires to become carbon neutral by 2045. To put the nation on pace to meet its climate goals, the government is now developing a comprehensive climate action plan. The transport industry is a particular focus for emission reduction efforts because its CO2 output consistently exceeds government targets. A speed restriction, according to the transportation and environmental organization Verkehrsclub Deutschland (VCD), is “indispensable” for making the industry more environmentally friendly. “No other form of transportation can protect the environment more. Additionally, it may be adopted right now and with little expense, according to the lobbying group.

However, a spokeswoman for the ministry of transportation claimed that no speed limit was currently being considered. In Germany, a general speed limit has long been a subject of political contention. The FDP, a pro-business party, blocked its inclusion in the coalition agreement of the government, despite support from both the Greens and Social Democrats for its introduction. Social Democrat (SPD) Chancellor Olaf Scholz stated last year: “This administration didn’t agree on it. This is the reason it won’t be introduced. Germany is the only nation in Europe without a speed limit on a significant portion of its freeway system.

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