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Govt Reconsiders Deal To Keep Diesel Cars Off Streets



Germany’s governing coalition has agreed on a “concept for clean air” they hope will spare German drivers from seeing their diesel vehicles banned from city centres across the country.

Diesel vehicles are popular in Germany. However, concerns are growing about the effect of their fumes on the environment. Worries have only grown since 2015, as it has been revealed that German carmakers were cheating on environment tests, meaning vehicles were spewing more particulate matter into the air than drivers might have thought.

Concerns have prompted some cities to implement partial bans on diesel vehicles within their city limits. Courts have backed them up. But the move is unpopular, both among drivers who find their car may be illegal, and carmakers as well.

Full details of the plan are expected to be shared later Tuesday by the government ministers with responsibility for the environment and transportation.

Andrea Nahles, the head of the Social Democrat (SPD) party, a member of the governing coalition, said the deal to retrofit diesel vehicles to combat pollution, as well as incentives to carmakers to manufacture vehicles that might tempt current diesel drivers to upgrade.

Negotiators, who finished early Tuesday after a marathon negotiating session, called the proposal a “concept for clean air and securing individual mobility in our cities.”

A lot of the fighting focused on financial incentives, since members of the centre-left SPD were worried that, even with help, many drivers would not be able to afford to upgrade to cleaner cars.