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Politicians driving 'climate killer' cars

The Local · 19 Apr 2011, 08:04

Published: 19 Apr 2011 08:04 GMT+02:00

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“No federal minister fulfilled with his official car the standard EU climate value of 140 grammes (of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide) per kilometre,” the DUH environmental protection group said in a statement this week for the release of its “climate-killer rankings.”

The group collected data on leading politicians' official cars over the past five years.

Most federal ministers were well over the 140 mark, with only Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger of the pro-business Free Democrats coming close with 155 g CO2/km.

The centre-right coalition in the state of Hesse fared particularly badly: in pole position across the country was Hesse Interior Minister Boris Rhein of the Christian Democratic Union whose Audi A8 6.0 quattro puts out 353 grams of CO2 per kilometre (gCO2/km). Closely behind him was state premier Volker Bouffier, also of the CDU, with 348 gCO2/km being emitted from his VW Phaeton.

Only one state leader, Bremen premier Jens Böhrnsen of the centre-left Social Democratic Party, came in under the EU’s 140 grams target. Schleswig-Holstein’s Peter Harry Carstensen refused to supply information on his car.

Berlin fared relatively well. While Mayor Klaus Wowereit of the SPD failed to get under the 140 gCO2/km mark, Environment Minister Katrin Lompscher of the socialist Left party’s Toyota Prius Hybrid emits just 92 gCO2/km.

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Not surprisingly, environment ministers did sightly better than others. Simone Peter in Saarland of the Greens, has a VW Passat 1.6 TDI Blue Motion that puts out 114 CO2/km. And Green Environment Minister Johannes Remmel of North Rhine-Westphalia emits 137 g CO2/km.

The Local/djw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:12 April 19, 2011 by Bundeskanzler Brandt
What kind of car is Angela riding in? To think a head of state should ride in a VW Golf is just silly. People expect them to ride in something stately.

How do you think the Adenauer - the Mercedes-Benz 300 Limo - got its name?

I didn't know there were any VW Phaetons left - one of Ferdinand Piech's few mistakes.
09:28 April 19, 2011 by tallady
I would like to see Angie riding in one of those electric autos with green stickers all over it.
10:29 April 19, 2011 by zeddriver
I think that all low to mid level local politicians should try and be has green as they can. But, The higher one goes in the government. Especially heads of state, That are known the world over. Must protect themselves. And this means varying degrees of armor. Unfortunately, As good as a VW Golf GTI is. It would collapse under the weight of said armor or wouldn't have enough power to move.
10:30 April 19, 2011 by pepsionice
The people who worry about this kind of thing....are people without any substance in their life or anything much to worry about. These are the people who deserve the coming blackouts and brownouts this summer because of the nuke plants being switched off. Let them analyze how life is fantastic with two hours less of electricity each day.
10:40 April 19, 2011 by trash head
> Let them analyze how life is fantastic with two hours less of electricity each day.

All nuke plants arent switched off this summer, the plan to is set to 2019.

In this year the infrastructure should be there to turn off the last nuke plants. So, for now, you dont need to worry of having energy shortcuts in any way.
11:14 April 19, 2011 by twisted
While I don't expect the government (federal and states) to go out and buy a fleet of new "green" cars, it certainly should be in the plan for future budgets.

However, politicians rarely follow what they expect us to do. We are masses and are just expected to obey.
13:50 April 19, 2011 by PawD
Why don't the politicians just take a bike to work... it would also do their health a whole lot of good!
14:33 April 19, 2011 by iseedaftpeople
actually, as much as I detest politicians of any stripe, I have nothing generally wrong with them driving "climate-killing gas guzzlers". I mean, let's get serious. How many higher-up and top politicians in this country are even entitled to a chauffeur car like that... probably a few hundred, tops. It's hardly going to spell doom for the earth's climate.

And as little as they are making an effort to perform the duties they were elected for these days, some of them are - rightly - so-called "gefährdete Personen", "endangered persons", and their cars are often armored. Theoretically of course you can armor up a Ford Focus just the same as you can an Audi A8, but the A8 will still be a safer option. Also, in dangerous situations, like an ambush attack, however unlikely in civilized Germany, you have to have a fast getaway car to get the person out of danger. Even a top-of-the-range Focus will probably not pack as much of a punch as a V-12 Audi. And if push comes to shove, also you need a vehicle with enough mass to push other cars simply out of the way.

We can bicker all we want about gas guzzling cars, and yes, their environment-friendliness is by design highly questionable - but let's keep some discernment in the debate.
17:27 April 19, 2011 by neunElf
Maybe the Greens would like for Germany to stop building the big MB, BMW Audi cars which they sell worldwide?

Perhaps they could take the unemployed autoworkers and let them power a giant squirrel cage to provide our electric power when the blackouts come!
07:19 April 20, 2011 by hOU
Where's the news here?

Politics = do what I say, not do what I do. Get it now?
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