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          by members of the LobbyControl associ-
          ation, who are championing fair and
          transparent lobbying. “Although policies
          imposed have consistently reduced
          exhaust emission limits, the actual vol-
          ume of harmful diesel exhaust emissions
          measured in cities continues to rise –
          a contradiction which the politicians
          have known about for years. The author-
          ities were warned and some even had
          doubts themselves”, say the authors of
          the report, when describing the situation
          of recent years in Germany. “But the Fed-
          eral Ministry of Transport did not ques-
          tion anything or even intervene”, stated
          the report. This approach, taken to han-
          dle what are evidently excessive exhaust
          emission values and the resulting harm-
          ful consequences for the general public,
          reveals a problematic culture of turning    Emission trends of selected air pollutants (© Umweltbundesamt)
          a blind eye in favour of the car industry.

                                            which include 27 university professors   he explained: “With a view to further
          The above notwithstanding, however,    from the DACH region (Germany, Aus-  reducing CO 2  emissions, in the longer
          the exposure of Volkswagen emission    tria and Switzerland) to date. The pro-  term I can envisage, for example, an all-
          falsification has brought the heated and   fessors, however, see the way the issue   out technological competition between
          ongoing debate into the public spotlight.   is developing as suboptimal, whereby   battery-powered vehicles, vehicles run-
          This also meant that further instances    namely objective and factual informa-  ning on carbon-neutral fuels that can be
          of illegal technical manipulation were   tion is precluded in favour of predomi-  converted in the internal combustion
          uncovered – a trend which shows no    nantly biased and excessively emotional   engine, and hydrogen vehicles.” This
          sign of stopping. Moreover, the European   reporting.               opinion, however, is not shared by all
          Commission is currently investigating the   At the beginning of April this year,    those involved in the public debate.
          allegations of a cartel between VW, BMW,   the German labour union IG Metall
          Daimler, Porsche and Audi. That in itself   also led calls to re-examine the debate   SWANSONG OF THE COMBUSTION
          can only be positive and also shows the   and, in a so-called diesel fact sheet,   ENGINE PREMATURE?
          following: If other state regulatory bodies     summarised the current situation and
          fail to act decisively, control imposed    the backgrounds and positions of the   The German political party Bündnis 90/
          by independent media can help when it   trade unionists [3]. “No one gains    Die Grünen set out a ten-point plan in
          comes to identifying grievances. Solving   from symbolic political actionism   mid-June: “The era of the fossil fuel
          an issue, though, usually requires more   which does nothing to help screen     combustion engine is ending with clear
          than just knowing all the relevant facts.   off fine dust, CO 2  and nitrogen oxide”,   ecological guidelines.” Following France’s
          Over and above, reams of information   the interviewees stressed.   example, Great Britain has now also
          have to be gathered to formulate argu-  At the end of June, the signatories    announced that the sale of new diesel
          ments based on the facts, which can    of the WKM paper pointed out that the   and gas cars will be prohibited as of 2040.
          then be discussed “rationally”.   intense – and partly justified – criticism    On 15 February 2017, the Commission
           This is where the policy paper of the   of the diesel engine drive had morphed   sent a final warning letter to Germany
          German Society for Automotive and   into a drive to impose a general ban on   and four other countries after they had
          Engines Technology (WKM) comes in,   the use of internal combustion engines   failed to curb repeated emissions of nitro-
          which was also published at the end of   in motor vehicles – this was not inten-  gen dioxide that exceeded limit values.
          June [2]. In referencing the “partially   tional. “Successful climate policy in a   The next step is a call to instigate pro-
          justified criticism of the diesel engine   thriving society is contingent on an   ceedings before the European Court of
          drive”, the paper begins with an admis-  advanced development of drive systems   Justice as part of the EU infringement
          sion from industry experts that much   which is open to all types of technol-  procedure. “The NO 2  exposure carries
          has gone wrong in the past. “The use    ogy”, stress automotive and engine tech-  with it a serious health risk. 40 % of NO x
          of a cycle detection mechanism to con-  nology experts. One of the authors is   emissions in the EU come from road traf-
          figure special emission mitigation meas-  Prof. Dr. Christian Beidl, Head of the   fic. About 80 % of all NO x  emissions from
          ures not active during real operation    Institute for Internal Combustion   transport originate from diesel vehicles”,
          and without physical necessity” is con-  Engines and Powertrain  Systems at TU   explained the European Commission and,
          demned by signatories to the paper,   Darmstadt. In response to our request,   besides Germany, also urged France,
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