Berlin must ban older diesel cars from entering parts of the city after a court on Oct. 9 upheld a complaint by an environmental lobbying group that nitrous oxide levels were persistently in excess of limits deemed acceptable, Reuters reported, making it the latest of a handful of cities in Germany to plan such a restriction.
The ruling forces city officials to prohibit diesel cars with emissions standards rated Euro V or below from at least 11 stretches of road, and they must also analyze whether further bans are needed on another 15 kilometers of road, according to the report. All new cars sold in Europe since 2015 have had to meet a more strict Euro VI emissions standard.
Berlin has until March 2019 to legislate on the bans, and then a further three months to implement them.
The case was brought by environmental lobbying group DUH, which is reportedly seeking bans in 28 cities and will file six more suits this month. Hamburg already has a partial diesel ban in place, while Frankfurt and Stuttgart are set to follow suit in 2019.
European governments have drawn public ire for promoting diesel cars as more environmentally friendly than gasoline-powered variants until just a few years ago, then flipping to back scrappage schemes, which offer above-market prices for trade-ins, to get older diesels off the road sooner. The about-turn has been prompted by growing awareness of the damaging effects of nitrous oxides on human health, even though diesel vehicles have tended to emit less carbon dioxide, the most ubiquitous greenhouse gas.