A general speed limit has been a hot topic in the climate debate in Germany for years. As a result of the Ukraine war, it has again come into focus – as a possible contribution to saving energy.
The deputy CDU chairman Andreas Jung is now open to a speed limit on motorways. "Everything that helps us over the winter and saves CO2 must now be put in the pot "without prohibitions on thinking": energy saving pact, nuclear energy, biomass ramp-up and limited speed limit," said the CDU politician to the "Bild" newspaper.
"Can't afford to turn down options"
Thomas Gebhart, chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag in the Committee on Climate Protection and Energy, also believes that a speed limit of 130 kilometers per hour on motorways is possible. "We cannot afford to reject certain options from the outset for party-political reasons," Gebhart told the "Bild". "For me, that also means a temporary speed limit of 130 on the Autobahn," he added.
Jung had already said to Deutschlandfunk on Friday: "Personally, in this situation I would also be open to a limited speed limit of 130 km/h on the motorways. But for that we need an initiative from the federal government. It needs the Federal Chancellor."
Jung emphasized that he would be willing to promote it in his party. When asked about the position of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group on this issue, he said: "We come from somewhere else." But if an emergency is looming now and the Chancellor collects all social forces, "then I think we should be ready to take such a step."
Environmental aid for temporary speed limit
A few days ago, the German Environmental Aid called for a temporary speed limit of 100 kilometers per hour as part of an immediate climate program in traffic. This is absolutely necessary in an effective program, the speed limit should have a term of at least two years, said Federal Managing Director Jürgen Resch of the dpa news agency.
"This would even be compatible with the coalition agreement, which only excludes a general speed limit. After a year, it should then be examined how high the level of people's approval is for a permanent continuation after the two years," says Resch. From day one, a speed limit could save up to 10 million liters of petrol and diesel. In terms of climate impact, this is 9.2 million tons less CO2 per year.
No from the FDP
The traffic light coalition of SPD, Greens and FDP had not included the demand for a speed limit in their coalition agreement, which was decided in autumn 2021, mainly because of the resistance of the FDP. The Liberals continue to oppose a general speed limit on motorways. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) recently said: "This government has not agreed on that and that's why it's not happening."