German transport minister rejects calls for higher diesel taxes

by Reuters
Monday, 21 December 2015 07:34 GMT

BERLIN, Dec 21 (Reuters) - German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt on Monday rejected calls to raise taxes on diesel cars, saying the technology played an important role in helping to lower CO2 emissions.

Last week, Germany's environment protection agency called for tax rates on private diesel cars to be raised due to their nitrogen oxide emissions.

"I see no need to change the way diesel is taxed," Dobrindt told daily Bild.

"There are convincing reasons to keep backing diesel. By saving CO2, diesel technology makes a valuable contribution to reaching our climate goals," he said.

Dobrindt also rejected calls by the environment agency to ban diesel cars from city centres as "absurd".

German politicians have warned against demonising diesel technology in the wake of the Volkswagen emissions scandal.

Europe's biggest carmaker admitted in September to installing software in diesel vehicles to deceive U.S. regulators about the true level of their toxic emissions, prompting a backlash against diesel.

Nonetheless, the VDA industry association said there were no signs the scandal had dampened demand for diesel in the German market. (Writing by Caroline Copley; editing by Jason Neely)

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