Thursday, June 15, 2017

Munich proposed ban on diesel vehicles prompts heated debate

Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter (SPD) told German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung on Wednesday that he saw no alternative to a ban on diesel vehicles in the face of concerning air pollution levels recorded in the Bavarian capital.

Reiter said that he did not see how the municipal government could carry on without such measures.

The mayor's comments follow recent findings that large swaths of Munich are in breach of air pollution limits for toxic particulate matter and nitrogen oxides (NO2) imposed in the European Union (EU).

Reiter described the results, which were measured widely around the city, rather than being confined to areas with heavy traffic, as "shocking" and "unexpected."

For NO2, the European Union mandates that measurements must not exceed an annual average of 40 micrograms per cubic meter. New measurements showed readings as high as 60 micrograms per cubic meter and above in parts of Munich.

In densely-populated areas, the bulk of poisonous NO2 is produced by cars. Some

295,000 out of 720,000 vehicles registered in Munich are powered by diesel motors.

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