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The German government will ease air pollution law so as to spare cities that only slightly exceed limits on harmful nitrogen dioxide (NO2) from diesel vehicle bans, ministers agreed Thursday, sparking sharp criticsm by environmentalists.
Major cities like Hamburg, Frankfurt and Stuttgart have put in place or are preparing exclusion zones for older diesel vehicles in order to bring NO2 levels under the EU-wide annual average limit of 40 microgrammes per cubic metre, with more towns on the way.
Judges - Bans - Politicians - Areas - Courts
Judges have ordered some of the bans, while politicians in other urban areas moved to preempt the courts.
Underscoring the pressure on the government, a court in North Rhine-Westphalia state ruled Thursday that stretches of a major motorway in Essen must be closed to older diesels.
Measures - Diesel - Drivers - Vehicles - Chunk
Such measures have outraged diesel drivers, who complain that affected vehicles are set to lose a massive chunk of their resale value as a result.
The car industry—the heart of the German economy and politically well-connected—has escaped at home the tens of billions in fines it has had to pay out in...
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