A recently proposed ban on internal combustion engines could improve air quality and lower noise pollution and CO2 emissions in Germany.
Echoing similar proposals in Norway and other countries, the heads of 13 out of 16 of Germany’s states voted two weeks ago to allow sales of only zero-emission cars starting in 2030.
The states alone are not able to put the ban into effect; only the German federal government can. But they have started a conversation, and researchers say there would be clear benefits.
Without taking into account the emissions released during the manufacturing process, Quaschning’s estimates suggest a 30 percent decrease in transportation emissions. The emissions from the transportation sector account for about 20 percent of Germany’s total emissions.
Germany’s next election is in September 2017, which both Quaschning and Krischer say could change the game—both for the extent of Germany’s use of renewables and whether consideration of an internal combustion engine ban will remain in gear.