• Germany's news in English

German auto club chief slams 'green zone' scheme

The Local · 12 Dec 2010, 15:45

Published: 12 Dec 2010 15:45 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"The environmental zones have not had the desired effect," ADAC president Peter Meyer told Germany's Welt am Sonntag newspaper.

So-called Umweltzonen were introduced around the country starting in 2008 in hopes of slashing pollution in densely populated areas. The system requires vehicles to display special red, yellow or green "emissions badges."

Only automobiles with the proper circular sticker on their windshields get the green-light to navigate streets within the Umweltzonen. Those caught driving without the right emissions badge in green zones are subject to fines and driver's license point penalties.

But thegreen zone scheme has fallen short of politicians' and environmentalists' expectations, according to the paper.

Though Berlin instituted the sticker system early on, some test stations in the city showed an increase in particulate matter measurements in 2010 over the previous year.

Along the Landshuter Allee thoroughfare in Munich, those readings exceeded the maximum safe value on 58 days, compared to 52 days in 2009. Under European Union guidelines established in 2005, levels that exceed the limit are only allowable 35 days of the year.

Meanwhile, safe particulate matter levels were exceeded on more than 90 days on the Neckartor roadway in Stuttgart, despite the presence of a green zone.

Meyer told Welt am Sonntag that the ADAC compared air quality measurements in German cities with and without environmental zones and noticed no major differences.

Restrictions on driving in urban areas have meant that some drivers who keep their cars have had to pay for upgrades to bring them in line with anti-pollution requirements, such as installing catalytic converters or particulate filters.

Just over 36 million of Germany's 42 million cars meet the standard for a green emissions badge, according to the paper.

Meanwhile, the addition of soot particle filters for buses and trucks has actually led to increased emissions of nitrous gases, and diesel vehicles – which account for about a quarter of the cars in Germany – emit three times the amount of nitrous pollutants compared to other vehicles.

Story continues below…

To address that problem, Jürgen Resch, the head of German environmentalist group DUH, called for a new system of blue stickers starting in January of 2012. "The emission of nitrous gases must now be drastically reduced," he told Welt am Sonntag.

But the Free Democrats' parliamentary transport policy expert, Patrick Döring, took a critical view of the proposal, saying that the government "could not irritate drivers with yet another sticker."

The Local/arp

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

02:04 December 13, 2010 by wood artist
Although your translation is more correct, I think the sentence works either way. Drivers probably would be irritated, and quite likely confused too.

12:04 December 13, 2010 by GermanyBert
@Small Town Boy. What is your source for you statement that 1000 green stickered cars emit more polution than 500 yellow and 100 red sticker cars?
13:19 December 13, 2010 by maxbrando
Admit it, boys andgirls. This has always been just another of the endless schemes by German bureaucrats to raise more cash from the imprisoned citizens of Germany to fund their bureaucracies.
19:25 December 13, 2010 by mixxim
The cows here cause much greater pollution in the countryside than all the vehicles in Berlin. Why not stop non green cars from entering Bavaria?
07:31 December 14, 2010 by parografik
Maybe the cows need stickers, or catalytic converters.
07:40 December 14, 2010 by Bundeskanzler Brandt
In California, our politicians instituted a similar law. Many years ago they instituted "diamond lanes" in heavy urban areas, that would allow cars (or motorcycles) with 2 or more people, during peak hours.

Then a few years ago, as one of my friends here would say, they put a "kink" (a twist) into the law.

The decided to allow certain hybrid cars. Not all of them, but as far as I know only the Toyota Prius or the Honda equivalent. How they decided on this I do not know. So if you are a single occupant and have the right car with the yellow sticker, you can drive in the diamond lane during rush hour.

Which was intended to reduce congestion.

Go figure.
Today's headlines
These are Germany's top ten universities
The new library of Freiburg University. Photo: Jörgens.mi / Wikimedia Commons

These are the best universities in all of Germany - at least according to one ranking.

Introducing Swabians - 'the Scots of Germany'
Photo: DPA

These Southern Germans have quite a reputation in the rest of the country.

Woman sues dentist over job rejection for headscarf
Photo: DPA

A dentist in Stuttgart is being taken to court by a woman whom he rejected for a job as his assistant on the basis that she wears a Muslim headscarf.

Isis suspect charged with scouting Berlin attack sites
Photo: DPA

German federal prosecutors said Thursday they had brought charges against a 19-year-old Syrian man accused of having scouted targets in Berlin for a potential attack by the Isis terror group.

Berlin Holocaust memorial could not be built now: creator
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

The architect of the Berlin Holocaust memorial has said that, if he tried to build the monument again today, it would not be possible due to rising xenophobia and anti-Semitism in Germany and the United States.

'Liberal' Germany stopping Europe's 'slide into barbarism'
Ian Kershaw. Photo: DPA

Europe is not slipping into the same dark tunnel of hate and nationalism that it did in the 1930s - mainly thanks to Germany - one of the continent's leading historians has said.

Eurowings strike to hit 40,000 passengers
Travelers impacted by the strike on Thursday wait at Cologne Bonn airport. Photo: DPA.

The day-long strike by a Eurowings cabin crew union is expected to impact some 40,000 passengers on Thursday as hundreds of flights have been cancelled.

Deutsche Bank reports surprise quarter billion profit
Photo: DPA

Troubled German lender Deutsche Bank reported Thursday a surprise €256-million profit in the third quarter, compared with a loss of more than six billion in the same period last year.

US 'warned Merkel' against Chinese takeover of tech firm
Aixtron HQ. Photo: DPA

The German government withdrew its approval for a Chinese firm to purchase Aixtron, which makes semiconductor equipment, after the US secret services raised security concerns, a German media report said Wednesday.

Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd