The Munich ÖDP does not like the fact that a majority of the city council suspended the tightening of the diesel driving ban in the city center before the summer holidays. That’s why the party is now starting a petition with the motto “End air pollution on the Mittlerer Ring”. While the city council majority has sided with the car lobby and especially with diesel drivers, the ÖDP is now siding with the residents, explained Tobias Ruff, spokesman for the city council faction.
“For us, the health of the residents is our top priority” and “clean air is also a human right in cities,” says a brochure that the ÖDP has printed 80,000 times and is now in the affected areas along the Mittlerer Ring distributed, as announced by Ruff and the chairwoman of the city association, Martina Bonertz, in a media round on Wednesday. “It’s important to get a vote, a strong voice from the public that will hopefully make a difference,” Ruff said.
In addition to the petition of the ÖDP, a lawsuit by the German Environmental Aid (DUH) should also have an effect. The organization has already announced that it will take legal action against the city council’s decision. Ruff criticizes that he unilaterally canceled an out-of-court settlement on air pollution control with the DUH and the Verkehrsclub Deutschland (VCD).
After the first stage of the diesel driving ban came into force on February 1, the second should have followed in October. However, the majority of the city council did not take this step, although the current figures required it. “The decision is based on forecasts that are on shaky ground,” says Ruff. Some of the nitrogen dioxide levels in the air are still above the 40 micrograms per cubic meter targeted by the city; the World Health Organization WHO even recommends a limit of just ten micrograms.