NO2 pollution: why the quality of the air in two municipalities governed by the Greens worsens?

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DGood news in advance: the air in German cities is improving. According to the latest data from the Federal Environment Agency (UBA), the air quality limit of 40 micrograms NO was reached in 2018 in 57 cities2 exceeded per cubic meter of air. In 2017 this was still the case in 65 cities.

As far as particulate matter is concerned, the trend is even clearer: only in 2018 only one measuring station linked to the industry has exceeded the limit, after which there can be a maximum of 35 days with average daily values ​​above 50 grams per cubic meter. This outlier is the Frydagstraße in the Lunden of Westphalia, located near a coal-fired power station. There, the average daily value was exceeded in 36 days, so once too.

Fritz Kuhn (Alliance 90 / The Greens), Lord Mayor of Stuttgart

Fritz Kuhn (Alliance 90 / The Greens), Lord Mayor of Stuttgart

Source: picture alliance / dpa

And now the sobering news: the green policy at the level of the municipality or the country (or even at both switching points) is obviously not a guarantor, to get a quality air to Davos. Because the worst NO in Germany2The values ​​are recorded in Stuttgart and Darmstadt. Both cities have improved compared to 2017, but they drive the negative ranking. In Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Fritz Kuhn, former federal president and member of the parliament of the green mayor.

In the city of Darmstadt, in the south of Hesse, mayor Jochen Partsch also had a black man since 2011. And: in Baden-Württemberg the green prime minister Winfried Kretschmann ruled with Christian Democrats, while the prime minister Hessen of the CDU Volker Bouffier formed a coalition with the Greens; The deputy prime minister is Tarek Al-Wazir of the Greens, responsible for the economy and transport.

What are the reasons for stress?

Why NO in both cities?2Very high charge? While Darmstadt has no geographical or topological features, Stuttgart is located in a cauldron between the Neckar to the north and the vineyards all around. Alb of Swabia and Black Forest surround the urban area, whose height difference is just under 350 meters.

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That politics cannot change geography and topology is emphasized in Stuttgart. So it needs other means to reduce emissions. 30 kph zones? Since you are skeptical in the city hall of the state capital. In the residential areas of Stuttgart, "30 in the 90s, Time 30 was introduced nationally", reads on request. But this applies "for reasons of safety and noise protection". And: "According to our experience, the rotation speed restrictions do not contribute to reducing polluting emissions".

If, for example, does the Red-Red-Green Senate in Berlin learn from the people of Stuttgart? On the Spree, it seems that there are more and more 30 Weather Zones offering a better climate. Presumably, however, less because of lower consumption per car than for the exasperated abandonment of the driver, who will eventually switch to public transport or bicycle.

In Stuttgart, however, people know: "Only where traffic can be sustained at the same time, which means that acceleration processes can be reduced, there will be a significant reduction in emissions". For example, green waves are involved. In Stuttgart, this is particularly proven on gradients, "where the strong acceleration processes have a particularly negative effect". There, in many places, Time 40 already applies: "More routes will be added".

Responsibility is also required at the federal level

Otherwise, a written declaration from Stuttgart refers to the federal and state responsibilities that would be necessary to improve the quality of the air: "These include, firstly, a blue sticker, tools to finance public transport such as tolls (the responsibility lies with the federal government.) or suburban traffic (the responsibility lies with the country), a revision of the rules on road traffic and the fine catalog (for example an increase in fines with illegal behavior). "

The Verkehrs- und Tarifverbund Stuttgart (VVS) had "experienced the largest tariff reform in its 40-year network history" in April, when previously 52 tariff zones were brought together in five ring zones. For many passengers, connections have become cheaper: "Partly save up to 30 percent." The Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Transport supports the tariff reform for reasons of air pollution for a total of 42 million euros in six years. "The districts and the capital of the state of Stuttgart assume the remaining costs in the 55% ratio (districts) and 45% (Stuttgart city)".

Furthermore, it needs vehicles with reduced emissions, such as modernization, and a greater percentage of vehicles with zero local emissions, such as electric vehicles and their promotion.

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As for the request for a toll, the federal government should not be expected to receive much after the toll embargo of the European Court of Justice. The politics of the state, however, is committed. Andreas Schwarz, leader of the Greens in the Baden-Württemberg parliament, says in an interview with WELT, that they invest "massively in public transport and electromobility".

It also highlights the local traffic reform: "The whole system has become more flexible and partly cheaper." In addition, buses must create ring roads around Stuttgart, so that travelers who want to be from one end of the city no longer have to cross the city center.

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In addition, the state government has increased state funding for e-mobility by 40 million euros, says Schwarz. In particular, police cars and other government vehicles must be converted into units without combustion. "This also requires a strong charging infrastructure: every ten kilometers we want a fast charging station. This is an investment in the infrastructure of the future." So far, you are only at the beginning.

Moreover, the Greens emphasize that the NO2Values ​​of the Federal Environment Agency in 2018. In 2019, in most cases, significantly better values ​​were achieved. According to the recent measurements of the State Institute for the Environment, the January values ​​were 50 grams per cubic meter (for comparison: January 2016: 80 / January 2017: 87 / January 2018: 60), in February 75 (70/82/70), in March 53 (77/80/72) and in May only 48 grams per cubic meter (79/84/70).

Especially in the much discussed point of measurement at the Neckartor sink the limit. "The 59 micrograms measured in the first four months are well below the 2018 annual average of 71 micrograms per cubic meter of air," said Schwarz.

Incidentally, the green-black coalition not always devoid of tensions in the state of Ländle seems to work well in terms of air quality. The parliamentary leader of the CDU Wolfgang Reinhart introduces into the conversation another means: "For us the culture of innovation before the culture of prohibition". An example of the means that led his party, called degrading nitrogen oxide asphalt, special color for building, air filters and intelligent traffic control.

(tTotranslate) Graw-Ansgar (t) pollutants in vehicles (t) pollutants (t) particulate matter (t) particle directive (t) Fritz Kuhn (t) European Court of Justice (t) Neckar (t) Alliance 90 / The Greens (t) Green (t) Darmstadt (t) Neckartor (t) Svevo Alb (t) Black Forest (t) Christian Democrats (t) Air Quality (t) Wolfgang Reinhart (t) Crime (t) Lünen (t ) Tarifverbund Stuttgart

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