German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has warned against vilifying diesel motors, deputy government spokesperson Ulrike Demmer said on Wednesday.
The statement was made with reference to a decision announced by the British government to ban the sale of all internal combustion engines in cars from 2040.
“The chancellor has often warned against demonizing diesel motor. Diesel motors emit less CO2 and are therefore more environmentally-friendly but of course we need to work honestly and of course we continue to look for other solutions,” Demmer said.
Nonetheless, Merkel expects carmakers to cede more ground in respect of recalling and upgrading cars affected by the emissions scandal when they meet with German officials for a “diesel summit” scheduled in August. The chancellor was also in favor of promoting electric cars.
The German automotive industry is under intense pressure to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions from diesel vehicles after several German cities, including Munich, began openly contemplating banning diesel vehicles altogether to reduce worrying levels of urban air pollution.
Speaking in view of current government commitments to achieve a carbon neutral economy by the year 2050, debates which focused exclusively on a fixed date for eliminating combustions engines were “unimaginative”.