Traffic: Debate about weekend driving bans – criticism of Wissing

Traffic: Debate about weekend driving bans – criticism of Wissing

The transport sector is far from meeting legal requirements for CO2 savings. The responsible minister warns of drastic consequences – and receives criticism.

After a warning about possible weekend driving bans, Green politicians and associations accused Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing of diversionary tactics and scaremongering. The North Rhine-Westphalian Transport Minister and chairman of the Transport Ministers’ Conference, Oliver Krischer (Greens), told the German Press Agency that, despite all understanding of political escalation, it would be appropriate for Wissing to return to factual politics. “The problem is not the federal climate protection law, but a transport policy that is not aligned with the goals of climate protection and sustainability.” Meanwhile, Wissing continued to increase the pressure on the traffic light partners to quickly implement the planned reform of the Climate Protection Act.

Krischer said that there were numerous transport policy measures on the table that would contribute to improving mobility as well as achieving climate protection goals. “Instead of threatening people, we would like to talk to Mr. Wissing at the transport ministers’ conference next week about how we can finance the maintenance and expansion of the infrastructure.” The Transport Ministers’ Conference will meet next Wednesday and Thursday in Münster. An important topic is the future of the Deutschlandticket in local and regional transport.


The Green transport politician Stefan Gelbhaar accused Wissing of disinformation. “Even the court’s obligation to finally present a proper climate protection program includes zero obligation to impose driving bans,” he told “Stern” (Saturday).

Claudia Kemfert from the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) spoke of scaremongering. It is overdue for more climate protection to be implemented in the transport sector, she told the Funke media group. “A transport transition for climate protection is characterized by a variety of components, such as the abolition of the diesel tax privilege and company car privilege, the promotion of public transport and rail transport or a bonus-malus system to promote low-emission vehicles and electromobility.”

German Environmental Aid also accused Wissing of painting a bogeyman on the wall in order to prevent action. “In doing so, he shot himself in the foot because with this absurd example he helps us to be able to have a political discussion about really possible alternatives, which a majority of German citizens have supported for years,” said DUH Federal Managing Director Jürgen Resch to the editorial network Germany (RND).

The German Trade Association (HDE) warned that a debate about driving bans at the weekend would be poisonous for retailers. “Consumer sentiment is already bad enough. The last thing retail needs now is even more uncertainty for customers,” said managing director Stefan Genth of the Funke media group.

In a letter to the chairmen of the government factions of the SPD, Greens and FDP, Wissing warned of drastic cuts for drivers, including driving bans on weekends, if the coalition does not agree on a reform of the climate protection law soon. Otherwise, Wissing would have to present an immediate program by mid-July so that the transport sector can meet climate targets. In his view, the only possible means of achieving this would be driving bans.

In the ARD “Tagesthemen” program, Wissing repeated his call for a rapid reform of the climate protection law. “These sector goals are of course not achievable in transport unless drastic measures are taken,” he said. In his view, a speed limit on motorways, which is advocated by many, would not help because it would not save enough greenhouse gases. “Then you would have the situation where you basically have to achieve the rest not with a two-day driving ban, but with a day and a half – that’s not a solution.”

Source: Stern

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