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Article “Driving bans for diesel cars in German cities: The role of ENGOs and Courts in producing an unlikely outcome” published

[11.06.2021]

The article “Driving bans for diesel cars in German cities: The role of ENGOs and Courts in producing an unlikely outcome” by Annette Elisabeth Töller has recently been published in "European Policy Analysis (EPA)”.

The contribution analyzes the introduction of driving bans for Diesel-fueled vehicles in German cities as a “highly unlikely outcome” of a policy process that started with the implementation of the EU directive on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe (2008/50/EC) in 2010. As of April 2021, driving bans for Diesel-fueled cars were either passed, narrowly averted, or are still imminent in 41 major German cities.

Based on the political process inherent dynamics approach (PIDA) in connection to qualitative case studies, the article identifies causal factors and qualifies their relative importance as well as the way they impact the overall result.

Regarding institutional causal factors, the European ambient air quality directive and the right of environmental associations to take legal action are identified as particularly important. In addition, failure to take alternative action affecting a significantly lower NO2-concentration is crucial. Among actors, the Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) and the administrative courts play an eminent role; the former made use of their right to legal action as an environmental association, while the latter recognized the validity of the DUH’s lawsuits by emphasizing health protection and the compliance with European law.

Links

The article is openly accessible at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/epa2.1120

Hanno Hahn | 12.07.2022