German Chancellor Angela Merkel signaled support for Britain’s plan to ban all internal combustion vehicles Sunday, although she asked European leaders in July to stifle their criticisms of diesel-powered cars.
Germany must fall in line with the rest of Europe as countries work on banning new diesel cars from the roads, Merkel told reporters. “I don’t want to name an exact year,” Merkel said, but she did note that their plans to eliminate gas-powered cars by 2040 “were the right approach.”
Her comments come a month after she warned her British and French counterparts against demonizing automakers like Volkswagen. Merkel is facing a bruising re-election campaign.
“The chancellor has often warned against demonizing diesel motors — diesel motors emit less CO2 and are therefore more environmentally-friendly but of course we need to work honestly and of course we continue to look for other solutions,” Ulrike Demmer, a spokeswoman for Merkel, said in July.