Environment Minister Steffi Lemke (Greens)
Photo: Political Moments / IMAGO
The transport sector has the most catching up to do when it comes to climate protection - which is why Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke has now spoken out against new motorway projects.
In view of the “second densest road network in the world”, the climate crisis and the “crisis of nature, the extinction of species”, she sees no reason to plan further motorways, said the Green politician on Deutschlandfunk.
The minister is thus positioning herself against Transport Minister Volker Wissing and his FDP.
Wissing advocates accelerating the construction of autobahns as well.
This helps against traffic jams and would thus ensure the supply of food to the population.
The SPD had recently sided with the FDP on the issue.
However, Lemke indicated a willingness to compromise: some motorway projects that are currently being planned would no longer be launched today for climate reasons.
But they are at a planning stage where they can no longer be stopped.
Climate Protection Minister Robert Habeck recently said that some gaps in the motorway network could be useful.
The heads of the coalition are now to deal with the topic on Thursday.
However, according to Lemke, the priority is to rehabilitate existing roads and keep them in good condition.
"It doesn't make any sense to build somewhere new and cut down the forest while the existing road system next to it is crumbling."
In terms of transport policy, Germany has relied too much on the expansion of the road network and neglected the rail network in recent decades, said the Environment Minister.
"We have to meet the climate targets in the transport sector." From Lemke's point of view, the rail network must be expanded, among other things.
The FDP meanwhile insists on faster motorway construction.
"The coalition must turn the lever on infrastructure projects," said FDP parliamentary group leader Christian Dürr.
»That applies to renewable energies, to the expansion of the railways, but also to motorways.«
Wissing would like the construction and expansion of roads to be of paramount public interest in the future, just like renewable energies.
The Ministry of the Environment fears that this will harm the environment.