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Merkel promises funding for air quality action in cities

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has promised German cities a pot of funding worth up to €500 million to tackle air pollution in urban areas.

Announcement of the funding comes after a meeting of Germany’s Federal Government yesterday (4 September) with the Mayors of around 30 German municipalities over measures to tackle air pollution across the country.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Funding, some of which is being provided by the German automotive industry, will be focussed on projects which reduce emissions from road transport including the ‘conversion of public transport’, the Federal Government has suggested.

Mrs Merkel suggested that by implementing the funding, German cities would look to avoid banning “individual vehicle types” – likely in response to the potential introduction of diesel bans which have been discussed in some regions in the country.

Following the meeting, she said: “We are all of the opinion that we are rejecting flat-rate driving bans for individual drive types or vehicle types and therefore want to do everything possible to prevent such driving bans.”

She added: “Time is pressing, and we all agree that it is a great act of force, because on the one hand we have a very individual situation in the individual municipalities, but on the other side there are also systemic effects which depend on the high proportion of the NOx emissions of cars in the cities.”

Projects

According to the government, a ‘broad’ range of projects will be eligible for funding, including public transport, conversion to electric mobility and improvement of the charging infrastructure, traffic management, efficient logistics and projects to increase cycling and walking.

Funding is available to around 80 municipalities where the limit 40 µg/m³ nitrogen dioxide limit is breached.

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