Berlin (dpa) – Germany wants to be less dependent on Russian deliveries – energy must be saved for this purpose. After all, is there a general speed limit on German roads? Calls get louder.
The director general of the German Association of Cities, Helmut Dedy, told the German news agency: “From now on we will have to look even more closely at energy consumption. That’s why we recommend checking a speed limit now. This would allow us to exploit the savings potential immediately ”.
A general speed limit on motorways is a perennial topic, but now the debate is returning. Economy Minister Robert Habeck (Verdi) announced on Wednesday the early warning phase of a gas emergency plan, the first of three phases. This is intended to strengthen precautions for a possible stop of deliveries in Russia. The appeal went to consumers and companies to save energy.
Dedy said a disruption to Russian gas or oil supplies is a realistic scenario. “We don’t want hysteria, but a greater awareness among the people and the economy that a large-scale crisis can occur.”
In the coalition negotiations between the SPD, the Greens and the FDP, the introduction of a general speed limit failed due to the resistance of the Free Democrats. A speed limit was missing in a package of measures recently adopted by coalition leaders to save energy. Instead, a cheap ticket for local public transport (ÖPNV) is expected in three months so that drivers can change.
The Greens are now trying to increase the pressure on the FDP. “Anyone who wants to reduce dependence on Russian oil must also initiate concrete measures”, said on Thursday Stefan Gelbhaar, spokesman for the Greens in the Bundestag for transport policy: “The transport ministry can afford to reject even temporary speed cuts if they are presented other proposals “. So far they have disappeared. The transport minister is FDP politician Volker Wissing.
Oliver Krischer (Verdi), parliamentary secretary of state at the Ministry of Economy, told broadcaster Phoenix: “If we are talking about further measures to reduce consumption, then the speed limit is always on the agenda”. The government talks about all measures. In view of a speed limit, he added: “Anyone can do it without a roadside sign.” Transport Minister of Baden-Württemberg Winfried Hermann (Verdi) said: “The time has come for fuel-efficient driving and a speed limit.”
The FDP, on the other hand, remains with their no: “The coalition agreement provides that there will be no general speed limit, it will remain that way,” said the spokesman for the parliamentary group’s traffic policy, Bernd Reuther. “However, everyone can set their own pace on a voluntary basis.” A spokesman for Transport Minister Wissing referred to statements made on Monday that the coalition committee had not agreed on a speed limit.
The SPD expressed reservations. “Every kilowatt-hour of energy saved makes us more independent of Putin’s energy,” said Dorothee Martin, transport policy spokesperson for the SPD parliamentary group in the Bundestag in order to have to leave. “Mobility must also be kept within the reach of the lowest incomes. “However, the debates on bans and regulations do not help.”
Environmental groups have long called for the introduction of a general speed limit. “To reduce dependence on imported energy, energy savings must be achieved immediately,” said Jens Hilgenberg, head of transport policy at the environmental association BUND. “In the transport sector, effective short-term measures such as a general speed limit of 100 km / h on motorways, car-free Sundays and a ban on short-haul flights must be implemented immediately.”
Greenpeace traffic expert Tobias Austrup said: “It cannot be that in the fifth week of the war the customary rights of highway racers are even more important to the FDP than the simpler and faster step away from Russian oil.” Germany should no longer be taken “fossil hostage” by the FDP. A speed limit should be implemented immediately and does not restrict anyone disproportionately.
Three weeks ago, the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) proposed several measures to significantly reduce energy consumption. Private homes could turn down the heat a bit, install a water-saving shower head, and drive less and, above all, slower. If motorists reduced their speed on the freeway to a maximum of 100 kilometers per hour and 80 km / h on interurban roads, they would save about 2.1 billion liters of fossil fuels, even assuming that not everyone adheres to it and some individuals faster on the road. Street. After all, this immediately saves about 3.8% of the fuel consumed in the transport sector.