Germany could ban driving on weekends to meet climate goals

Germany's transport minister said last week that driving cars on weekends will be banned unless legislation surrounding climate change becomes stricter.

Volker Wissing of the left-wing Free Democratic Party (FDP) has been pushing for the country's net zero law to be amended since September of last year so that the country can reach carbon emission targets, The Telegraph reports.

But he has received pushback from the Green party which has accused him of using fear to push for this change after he threatened to ban driving on weekends.

Germany's current climate laws place responsibility on the leadership of sectors failing to stay on the net zero track to take immediate action.

“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,” Wissing wrote in a letter to coalition parliamentary group leaders last Thursday.

A spokesperson for the transportation ministry came to his defense, stating, "It is a minister’s responsibility to point out the dangers."

Katharina Droege, the Green Party parliamentary group leader responded on Friday: "It is not responsible for a minister to stir up unfounded fears."

“Scaremongering through absurd proposals does not help climate protection in the transport sector at all, on the contrary," said Detlef Mueller, SPD deputy parliamentary group leader.

Clara Thompson, mobility expert at Greenpeace, told the German Press Agency: “Wissing has wasted two years blocking every climate protection measure in road traffic - now he is coming up with horror scenarios so that he won’t have to do anything in the future either.”

Wissing did however receive support from German finance minister and FDP leader Christian Linder.

“The climate protection law of the previous government could soon lead to driving bans,” he wrote on social media.

Wissing then broadcasted his defense on German radio last Friday, stating, "I told the citizens the truth. You can only save such large amounts [of pollution] by giving up cars and trucks.

“Those like Greenpeace and the Greens, who always say that the climate protection law must remain as it is, may now be frightened by the consequences of their policies.”

Image: Title: wisser


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