This was agreed by the participants at the Environment Ministers’ Conference in Wilhelmshaven on Friday, as its chairman, Lower Saxony’s Environment Minister Olaf Lies, announced. The countries also justified the demand with the need to save energy in view of the war in Ukraine.
The speed limit would be “an inexpensive, quickly implementable and immediately effective measure” to reduce fuel consumption and dependence on imports, the decision said. At the same time, greenhouse gas, pollutant and noise emissions would be reduced. The measure could initially be introduced for a limited period during the “continuing conflict”.
Many doubt the effect of a speed limit
With their decision, the state ministers opposed the position of the federal government: the traffic light coalition had not included the demand for a speed limit in its coalition agreement, mainly because of the resistance of the FDP.
In view of the global food shortage, the state ministers also criticized the conversion of grain into bioethanol, which is then mixed into vehicle fuels.
“Plate instead of tank” is more than ever the motto of the hour, explained Lies. In Germany, 2.4 million tons of grain are currently used for bioethanol every year, and 175 million tons of grain end up in the tank worldwide, explained Lies. That corresponds to nine percent of the world grain harvest.
In view of the war in Ukraine at the latest, there must be an urgent rethink, he demanded. “In my view, unlimited lawns no longer fit into the time.” Now is the time for more thrift and careful use of resources.
The Federal Managing Director of the German Environmental Aid, Jürgen Resch, welcomed the decision of the Environment Ministers’ Conference for a speed limit as “absolutely correct and overdue”. “We are pleased that all environment ministers are supporting our call for a temporary speed limit,” said Resch. (AFP)