Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze declares on today's decision by the European Commission:
"Today the Commission decided to refer Germany to the Court of Justice of the EU due to the excessive nitrogen dioxide levels in German cities. It saddens us that the Commission considers our efforts to date – for example the immediate action programme for clean air – to be inadequate.
If we want to win in court, we will need swifter, larger-scale progress on cleaning up the air. Hoping that the problem will solve itself – as some clearly do – is no longer an option now. No one should be stalling on this issue or sitting it out.
I have been calling for the retrofitting of diesel passenger vehicles for a long time now. We need this as soon as possible, with vehicle manufacturers carrying the costs, since they created the problem. Anyone who blocks this path is risking not only driving bans and a further decline in value for diesel cars, but also a defeat in the Court of Justice of the EU."