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German court rules cities can ban diesel cars – ODI statement

Written by Ipek Gençsü

Press Release

Ipek Gencsu, Senior Research Officer at the Overseas Development Institute, said: ‘The German court ruling to allow two of its major cities to ban diesel cars is a welcome step. However, stronger action against the use of dirty polluting cars has to be taken at national level, both in Germany and across Europe.

Latest research by ODI finds that Germany subsidises the use of fossil fuels in the transport sector by nearly €19 billion (£15 billion) per year, with over 40% of this support provided as diesel tax breaks.

‘The German government passing the buck to cities is not good enough; it must take responsibility and cease support to diesel and other fossil fuels as an immediate first step.’


  • The report ‘Phase-out 2020: monitoring Europe's fossil fuel subsidies’ was published by ODI and Climate Action Network Europe in September 2017
  • The report found that overall, European governments and the EU are handing out more than €112 billion each year to prop up the production and consumption of fossil fuels, despite a pledge to phase out harmful subsidies by 2020
  • Such support to fossil fuels is a major cause of dangerous levels of air pollution in European cities, which recently led to EU threat of court action against 9 European countries (including Germany and the UK)

For more information contact James Rush on [email protected] or +44 (0)7808 791265