Climate Change Plans in Germany Could have a Dire Effect on the Autobahn
Disclaimer: Read at your own riskby Sidd Dhimaan, on LISTEN 03:38
There are many of us who have dreamt of driving on the Autobahn, be it an ordinary sports car or a high-end exotic. This is the Mecca of fast driving as the unrestricted speed limit actually lets you test the true potential of the car. However, if you are one of the dreamers, I’ve got some bad news for you. The German government is considering adopting a range of draft proposals about the reduction of environmental damage caused by transport that could result in Autobahn becoming a speed-restricted road for the first time since the pre-war days
Will Germans Make Cars With Speed Governers?
According to a report from Reuters, the committee responsible for coming up with the proposals, The National Platform on the Future of Mobility, has recommended many things in its draft proposals and setting a speed limit on the Autobahn is one of them.
The others include fuel tax hikes and Electric Vehicle quotas to help Germany meet EU’s emissions targets.
Everyone knows how strict Germany is about climate change and was, in fact, it was one of the first countries to adopt electrification of vehicles. Germany’s transport emissions have not fallen since 1990; instead, they have been going up due to increased overall car sales as well as that of more powerful sports cars and larger SUVs.
Although It Is The Need Of The Hour, The Enthusiast In Us Is Not Happy
Germany’s Federal Statistical Office said that in 2017 automobile traffic was responsible for 115 million tons of CO2 emissions — 6.4 percent more than in 2010. That is the reason why the country has been under pressure to reduce the emission figures. This has left the government in a fix between conserving the environment and safeguarding the German auto industry.
If Germany fails to reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases and poisonous nitrogen oxides, it could face heavy fines from the European Union.
Getting back to the point, one of the proposals in the draft was a speed limit of 130 kilometers per hour (80.7 miles per hour) on the Autobahn. If accepted, this will cause a furor in the car-loving country. The other proposals include increased fuel taxes from 2023, along with ending tax breaks for diesel vehicles and imposing quotas for electric and hybrid cars. According to the committee, these measures could deliver half of the greenhouse gas emissions cuts that are required.
Decision Will Be Taken By The End Of March
The committee hasn’t finalized its proposals yet, as the final report will be given at the end of March. Since the studies show a reduction of up to 50-percent just by implementing these changes, we could see Germany accept this proposal. Nevertheless, this bit of news from the report serves as a consolation to us - “Not every instrument and every measure will be accepted. It will take political deftness, diplomatic skill, and a willingness to compromise to achieve the climate change goals.”
If accepted, Germany will incorporate this into a climate-change law.
The citizens and auto industry will definitely oppose this, but the politicians seem to have polarising opinions.
Frank Sitta, member of the business-friendly Free Democratic Party (FDP), is against the idea of speed limit: "After the ridiculous diesel bans, now they want a speed limit, quotas on electric vehicles, and fuel tax hikes. That will just make mobility in Germany even more expensive.”
Do you think this draft should be accepted, or should the free-revving Autobahn remain an enthusiast’s paradise? Let us know your thoughts on this issue in the comments section below.