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Speed ​​limit as an immediate measure: Conference of environment ministers calls for a ban on biofuel from agricultural land


The conference of environment ministers surprisingly came out in favor of a temporary speed limit on motorways. The measure is intended to reduce oil consumption and replace biofuel. The pressure on the traffic light coalition in the federal government is growing.

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Clear sign: The states will not be stopped by the argument that there is a lack of signs

Photo: Florian Gaertner / Photothek via Getty Images

A general speed limit on German autobahns is to come – this is what the environment ministers of the federal states are demanding.

According to information from SPIEGEL, the Environment Ministers' Conference in Wilhelmshaven made this decision on Friday.

However, the paper does not state which maximum speed should apply.

The speed limit should be introduced as an "inexpensive, quickly implementable and immediately effective measure" so that Germany uses less petrol and diesel and becomes less dependent on oil imports, according to the decision.

At the same time, the step helps to protect the climate, keep the air clean, reduce noise and make roads safer.

The speed limit could "initially be introduced for a limited period during the ongoing conflict," it says, with a view to the war in Ukraine.

In the long term, the focus is on the rapid expansion of electromobility and local public transport.

"I think it's absolutely right that we're sending a visible signal," Lower Saxony's Environment Minister Olaf Lies (SPD), chairman of the conference, told SPIEGEL.

"We didn't have an ideological debate." Rather, it was about a pragmatic answer to the supply crisis caused by the war.

The lack of food deliveries from there caused pressure on food prices and agricultural land in this country, and hunger in other regions of the world.

"We're not allowed to pour more food into the tank, that's indecent," says Lies.

The Conference of Environment Ministers therefore decided that in future biofuels should only be made from residues.

Opening up unused fallow land for biofuel is also off the table.

The speed limit should be seen as part of a "holistic solution" because the lower fuel consumption replaces the need for biofuel.

Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke (Greens), who attended the conference in Wilhelmshaven, also announced a draft law on this subject.

Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia vote yes, but

The decisions of these ministerial conferences are generally taken unanimously.

Only the Environment Ministers of Bavaria (Thorsten Faithr, Free Voters) and North Rhine-Westphalia (Lutz Lienenkämper, CDU) agreed, but made a memorandum according to which they only expect a limited effect of a speed limit.

In the other 14 states, the departments are run by the Greens or the SPD.

Lies said on Thursday that he thought a speed limit was necessary, but that it was not on the agenda in Wilhelmshaven.

The SPD politician interpreted the fact that the ministers were still able to reach an agreement as a sign “that the world is changing”.

Germany stands alone with unlimited turf, "like the last idiot who still drives 300."

But in the meantime, the missing limit "is no longer socially accepted", and awareness is growing.

"Now it's the federal government's turn," tweeted the Hessian Environment Minister Priska Hinz (Greens).

The federal states cannot implement their decision on their own, a federal law would be needed for that.

An initiative in the Bundesrat has not yet been announced by any of the federal states - but the request character of the unanimous decision in the direction of Berlin is clear.

In a similar step, the transport ministers' conference in March came out in favor of a zero-euro ticket instead of the planned nine-euro ticket.

In the Bundesrat, however, the federal states did not dare to blockade, although the federal government refused the promised billions for the expansion of local transport.

At the urging of the FDP, the traffic light coalition has expressly ruled out a speed limit in its coalition agreement.

Recently, however, the resistance has been weaker.

Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) referred to the lack of signs in April as the reason why practical implementation could be difficult.

Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2022-05-13

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