Blue Environmental Zone in Berlin – Planning
Following the decision from the Conference of Environmental Ministers on 07.04.2016 to introduce the Blue Badge in Germany, discussions began in each of the affected cities with increased particle limits about the introduction of a blue-environmental zone. The pending complaint of the German association for environmental protection (Deutschen Umwelthilfe – DUH) against the Land of Berlin will strengthen these discussions. In 2016, the DUH already went to the administrative tribunal of Berlin. The association blamed the office in charge of urban development and environment for the lack of measures that were taken in order to reduce nitrogen oxides emissions and reach the allowed limits. Since July 2017, this complaint got even more important as the legal precedent of Stuttgart shows that the court supports citizen and enacts traffic limitations.
Thus, it is expected that the Diesel vehicles might be forbidden to circulate in certain parts of the city centre of Berlin. Such a measure would first be settled in the areas where the air quality is the more polluted, such as the Leipziger Straße, the main streets of Neukölln and the Hardenbergplatz next to the Zoo station for instance. This traffic restriction would be settled thanks to a blue environmental badge. It is assumed that a future blue environmental zone won’t cover the entire area of the existing green environmental zone. It might rather concern few smaller parts of the city centre.
Nitrogen Oxides in Berlin – Information until September 2017
Following the Diesel Summit in August 2017, the Berlin Senator for environment and transports Regine Günther asked the car manufacturers and the politicians to act quickly. During an interview, she explained the urge to act soon and to settle concrete measures that protect the people’s health.
In Berlin, 16 monitoring sites and 25 data collectors settled on highways, are regularly measuring emission excesses. 39% of them are due to Diesel vehicles. The nitrogen oxides emissions of airports, inland waterway transports and industries do also contribute to the air pollution. Despite interesting and worthy measures have already been taken during the past few years, they remain unsatisfactory to reach the maximum allowed NOx emissions. This explains why the capital city settled a huge environmental zone and launched the biggest taxis’ free emission action in Germany, so-called “1.000 electric taxis in Berlin”. In order to reduce even more the air pollution rates, the Berlin Senate wants to act and plans to settle more low speed areas limited to 30 km/h. In this Diesel gate context, the blue environmental badge project is still to be studied.
The blue nitrogen badge
The introduction of the Blue Badge was adopted on 04.07.2016. In special environmental zones no later than 2017 vehicles with the blue nitrogen badge may only retract. More info here.