(Reuters) - A Berlin court on Tuesday ordered Germany's capital to ban older diesel vehicles from some of its roads, dealing a blow to the government's attempts to avoid such restrictions while it strives to reduce air pollution.
On at least eleven stretches of road suffering from the highest levels of nitrogen oxide pollution, Berlin must ban vehicles meeting the Euro 5 or older emissions standards, the court said in a statement, adding the city-state had not done enough to keep air pollution within permitted limits.
Beyond those streets, Berlin must analyse whether further bans are needed on a total 15 kilometres of road to lower nitrogen oxide concentrations in the city to 40 micrograms per cubic meter of air on average, the court said.
Earlier this month, the federal German government outlined plans to cut pollution from diesel vehicles by asking carmakers to offer owners trade-in incentives and hardware fixes in an attempt to avert further driving bans.
Diesel bans have already been imposed in Hamburg and are planned for Frankfurt and Stuttgart, the home of Germany's car industry.
The case in Berlin was brought by environmental lobby group DUH in the latest attempt by activists to force regional governments in Germany to improve air quality
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