A Berlin court ruled yesterday that Germany's capital should impose driving bans on some roads for older diesel vehicles whose emissions of nitrogen oxide exceed permitted limits.
The bans will affect vehicles meeting the Euro 5 or older emissions standards, the court said.
The case was brought against the city-state by environmental lobby group DUH, which had wanted Berlin to reduce air pollution by banning diesel vehicles up to the Euro 4 standard from the end of 2018 and for Euro 5 standard cars from September 2019. The latest standard is Euro 6. Presiding Judge Ulrich Marticke had said earlier yesterday that while the level of harmful nitrogen dioxide in the air was declining, there was no reasonable doubt that a ban on older diesel vehicles was the only way to cut pollution to permitted limits.
Volkswagen's admission in 2015 that it cheated U.S. diesel emissions tests led to the discovery that diesel vehicles from several manufacturers routinely exceed pollution limits in normal driving conditions, prompting a regulatory crackdown. Environmental groups have been encouraged by a federal court ruling in February that allowed cities to ban older diesel cars. A ban is due to take effect in Frankfurt, Germany's financial capital, from February. The city of Hamburg this year voluntarily blocked diesel models that fail to meet the Euro-6 emissions standard from selected trunk roads.