- Title: German ministers and carmakers meet to 'save diesel'
- Date: 2nd August 2017
- Summary: BERLIN, GERMANY (AUGUST 2, 2017) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF GERMAN TRANSPORT MINISTRY BUILDING (INITIAL LOCATION FOR 'DIESEL-SUMMIT'), WITH GREENPEACE PLACARD, READING (German) 'WELCOME TO FORT NOx' VARIOUS OF GREENPEACE PLACARD, READING (German) 'WELCOME TO FORT NOx' GREENPEACE SUPPORTERS HOLDING PLACARD, READING (German) 'YOUR DIESEL MAKES US SICK' AND PAN TO PLACARD ON BUILDING (SOUNDBITE) (German) GREENPEACE TRANSPORT EXPERT BENJAMIN STEPHAN, SAYING: "Greenpeace activist climbed on top of the roof of the transport ministry today (where the 'diesel summit' was supposed to take place) because they were not invited. The member of the diesel cartel meet with member of the German government in order to decide how to deal with the supposed gold treasure of the car industry, the diesel. It does not have any future from our point of view. What should happen is that we need a 'blue badge' (special authorisation) so the cities and towns are given the opportunity to protect their citizens. We must not leave the car owner alone with this, we need an effective retrofit, no software make-up. And really, a change in transport policies is necessary. We need now an exit from the combustion engine." EXTERIOR OF GERMAN TRANSPORT MINISTRY BUILDING WITH GREENPEACE PLACARD VARIOUS OF CARS IN MORNING TRAFFIC VARIOUS OF PROTEST OF DEUTSCHE UMWELTHILFE (DUH - GERMAN ENVIRONMENTAL RELIEF)
- Embargoed: 16th August 2017 15:19
- Keywords: diesel summit emissions German carmakers protest Greenpeace
- Location: BERLIN, GERMANY
- City: BERLIN, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Economic Events
- Reuters ID: LVA0016SGQO1Z
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: German ministers and car bosses held crisis talks on Wednesday (August 2), seeking to cut inner-city pollution to avert outright bans on diesel cars in a belated attempt to restore the tarnished reputation of the country's auto industry.
Since Volkswagen admitted to cheating U.S. diesel emissions tests in September 2015, Chancellor Angela Merkel's government has come under fire for not doing enough to crack down on vehicle pollution and for being too close to powerful carmakers.
The issue has become a central campaign topic ahead of national elections next month and the government is keen to show it is taking action as environmental groups go to the courts to try to force major cities to ban diesel vehicles.
But ministers are also wary of angering the drivers of 15 million diesel vehicles and damaging an industry that is the country's biggest exporter and provides about 800,000 jobs.
The stakes have increased for the German car industry in recent weeks. Britain and France have announced plans to eventually ban all diesel and petrol vehicles and Tesla has launched its first mass-market electric car.
Meanwhile, top German carmakers BMW, Daimler, Audi, Porsche and VW are being investigated by European regulators for alleged anti-competitive collusion.
An opinion poll published on Wednesday by Die Welt newspaper showed 73 percent of Germans want politicians to take a tougher line with the car industry on air pollution.
German car sales data on Wednesday showed diesel car sales fell 12.7 percent in July. Now diesel makes up only 40.5 percent of new car sales in Europe's largest car market, down from 46 percent at the end last year.
Activists from environmental group Greenpeace hung a banner across the facade of the German transport ministry on Wednesday proclaiming "Welcome to Fort NOX", a play on the abbreviation for the toxic nitrogen oxides (NOx) emitted by diesel vehicles.
Meanwhile, the summit had been moved to the interior ministry.
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