< Show all posts

Climate targets at risk

According to some politicians, German transport policy must change radically if the climate targets set are to be met by 2030.

Germany sees itself as a nation of motorists. But if the plans of the Green Party in the Bundestag are anything to go by, this self-image is the cause of all the evils. For example, the Bundestag is currently in a frenzy over the current government's plans to further boost national road construction and subsidise it with billions of euros. But the Greens want to prevent this from happening by all possible means and are bringing their own agenda into play in view of next year's elections. It is an undeniable fact that the Federal Republic of Germany would have to cut its emissions by a whopping 40% if it was to achieve its climate targets by 2030. For many independent experts, this is a squaring of the circle, considering that Transport Minister Scheuer (CDU) wants to push ahead with the expansion of the local road network. 
A glance at the bare figures illustrates the full extent of the problem. Since 1994, the motorway network in Germany has grown from around 11,000 km to just under 13,000 km; the rail network of the German Federal Railways, on the other hand, has shrunk from 41,000 to around 33,000 km. So the frequently invoked traffic turnaround in this country has so far been a rather limping horse. The figures mentioned relentlessly show what the Federal Government still lacks in addition to courage. Inevitably, a traffic turnaround means investing in infrastructure. In other words, it means expanding the rail network rather than expanding the asphalt road network. The German road network, comprising motorways, federal, state and district roads, is one of the most extensive and best developed in Europe (about 230,000 km). 
Ambitious traffic turnaround therefore looks different. Transport Minister Scheuer often stressed that the aim was to "get people off the motor vehicles and onto the railways". In view of the figures mentioned, this is another empty phrase from the German Ministry of Transport.

The calculation is simple: a better developed rail network leads to fewer cars on the roads. Conversely, this means fewer environmental zones / diesel driving bans for the European consumer.  

So it is a win-win situation for all of us - and of course for the climate.