A cyclist rides on the closed A1 motorway near Blessem in Erftstadt (symbolic image).
Image: dpa

Transport Minister Volker Wissing has warned of severe restrictions such as nationwide driving bans on weekends if the new climate protection law does not come into force before mid-July. The Greens reject the statement.

IIn the dispute over the climate protection law, deputy Green party leader Julia Verlinden rejected statements by Transport Minister Volker Wissing about impending driving bans. “This claim is simply false,” Verlinden told the German Press Agency on Thursday evening. “A minister should not stir up unfounded concerns among people.”

The FDP politician Wissing had warned of drastic cuts for drivers if the traffic light did not agree on a reform of the climate protection law soon – up to and including driving bans on weekends. This emerges from a letter from Wissing to the chairmen of the traffic light factions SPD, Greens and FDP. According to Wissing's argument, in order to achieve so-called climate sector goals in transport under the current law, a significant reduction in the mileage of cars and trucks would be necessary. This would “only be possible through restrictive measures that are difficult to communicate to the population, such as nationwide and indefinite driving bans on Saturdays and Sundays”.

Green Party deputy Verlinden said that the current law only requires Wissing to present a climate protection program “that contains sensible proposals that lead to more climate protection in the transport sector”. “There are many different options, such as a speed limit. It would be time for the minister to make good suggestions.” Wissing and the FDP strictly reject a general speed limit on motorways that the Greens have long been calling for.