Environmentalists oppose highway expansion in Germany to Protect the Environment
Environmentalists have called against the expansion of Germany’s “Autobahn” highway. These projects are being opposed to dealing with climate change.
German environmentalists have again spoken out against highway expansion. Recently, after the announcement of the construction of the new Autobahn A100, there were several protest rallies across the capital Berlin.
Environmentalists argue that just as the construction of these highways consumes much carbon, so do the vehicles that emit large amounts of carbon.
According to statistics, the transport sector is responsible for one-fifth of the greenhouse gas emissions in Western Europe.
It is one of the two sectors that have failed to meet its target of reducing carbon emissions by 2021. Even then, the central communication plan for 2030 includes several new 850 km long highway construction projects.
The German Federation for the Environment and Nature Conservation, an organization of environmentalists, has shown in its 2021 report that 12 highways are not needed. Only cars can run on the Autobahn.
Driving below 60 km/h on the Autobahn is prohibited (unless instructed). Driving bicycles, mopeds, or tractors on the Autobahn is prohibited. Moreover, naturally, there are no traffic lights on the Autobahn.
Environmentalists believe that the new projects will also be destructive to the environment. For example, they calculated that the A20 Autobahn would emit 45 million tons of carbon.
Even forests will be cut down, and several rare animal and plant species will face a threat of survival. Besides, it will also cost 600 million euros.
However, environmentalists do not think the German government is paying much attention to these issues. On the contrary, the speed limit of vehicles remains unfixed on 70% of the highways.
There, one can drive at any speed. So it also increases the cost of fuel oil. Environmentalists say that if the speed limit gets limited to 100 kilometers per hour, it could overcome much of the energy crisis caused by the Ukraine war.