February 27, 2018 / 1:55 PM / 2 years ago

Germany still aims to avert diesel bans: environment minister

Barbara Hendricks of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) arrives for talks to discuss forming a government with the Christian Social Union (CSU) and Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Berlin, Germany, January 3, 2018. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The government’s aim is to avert a ban on diesel vehicles in German cities, even after a federal court ruled that cities can put such bans into place to reduce pollution, Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks said on Tuesday.

“That does not mean that bans will be put in place overnight. My goal is and remains that bans never need to be implemented because we can manage to clean the air through other means,” Hendricks told journalists.

She said that upgrades to the exhaust cleaning systems of older diesels could make a substantial contribution to reducing pollution and that car owners should be able to expect automakers to pay for such upgrades.

“The problem was caused by carmakers and we should not release them from their responsibility,” she said.

Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Michelle Martin

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