Road, Stuttgart, Germany

Stuttgart must ban Euro 5 diesel vehicles or face court-imposed fine

Stuttgart has until the end of August to comply with a court order and come up with an air quality plan that includes a ban on Euro 5 diesel vehicles or face a 10,000 Euro fine.

The Stuttgart administrative court has said that by 31 August, Baden Württemberg authorities must amend their air quality plan in line with the Federal Administrative Court’s order to ban Euro 5 diesel vehicles in the city from September 2019.

Euro 5 vehicles are those sold between September 2009 and September 2015.

ClientEarth lawyer Ugo Taddei said: “It comes as no surprise that the court has been forced once again to step in to protect people’s right to breathe clean air. Repeated court orders have required the introduction of comprehensive and effective traffic restrictions in Stuttgart.

“This is the Baden Württemberg authorities’ last chance to fulfil their legal duty or face financial penalties. Half-hearted solutions that do not effectively protect people’s health will not be tolerated.”

The decision comes after ClientEarth and Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) took the Baden- Württemberg government to court over their failure to reduce air pollution, with the Stuttgart Administrative Court ordering the introduction of traffic restrictions on diesel vehicles.

In a landmark decision in February this year, the German Federal Administrative court upheld the order. Last March, DUH followed up when no appropriate action was taken by Stuttgart to comply with the February ruling.

In June, the Administrative Court of Stuttgart ruled that the government’s plan to introduce a ‘mini-ban’ on older Euro 3 and 4 standard vehicles, but exempted residents, was wholly inadequate. The Baden-Württemberg authorities agreed to lift the exemption for residents, but refused to make a clear commitment to ban Euro 5 vehicles from September next year.

The Federal state now has a month to update the plan and set a binding deadline for a citywide ban of all Euro 5 vehicles by September 2019.

DUH CEO Jürgen Resch said: “After Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg must now also be forced to comply with the law by means of coercive measures. The state government continues to bide for time and thus willingly accepts the health risks to its citizens. The proposed measures are not sufficient to meet the limit values for toxic nitrogen dioxide in the short-term. We will continue to help people and ensure that the necessary measures for the short-term enforcement of “clean air” in Stuttgart are taken by the court.”

DUH and ClientEarth will continue to follow this matter closely and will be taking the necessary legal steps if the Baden Württemberg authorities fail to comply with the court’s decision by 31 August.

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