Germany’s DUH call for autobahn speed limit to reduce CO2

Germany’s DUH call for autobahn speed limit to reduce CO2

New research by the DUH has found that Germany’s CO2 saving goal for 2030 could already be one-third complete by making one simple change: reducing the autobahn speed limit to 100 kilometres per hour.

DUH call for speed limit on German autobahn

Germany’s environmental protection agency DUH is urging the country’s politicians to implement a speed limit of 100 km / h for the German autobahn. According to new research by the agency, introducing the rule would mean that one-third of Germany’s 2030 CO2 saving goals could be reached already.

“Our calculations are black and white,” Jürgen Resch, representative of the DUH, told RND, “With a speed limit of 100 km / h on the motorway and 80 extra-urban areas, 11.1 million tonnes of CO2 can be saved without spending any money. And the policy could be implemented immediately.”

Germany is aiming to save 271 million tonnes of CO2 emissions from transportation by 2030. With a higher limit of 120 km / h, the DUH predict that Germany could save 6.7 million tonnes of CO2 per year.

DUH criticises German Green Party policies

Since they entered government over a year ago, Germany’s Greens have come under recurring fire for a series of not-so-environmentally-friendly policies. Speaking to RND, Resch joined the chorus of critics, saying that Germany’s “self-proclaimed climate government cannot get past this incontrovertible fact [of the DUH report]. So let’s put an end to the excuses." 

Though the policy has been suggested before, and past surveys have shown the majority of Germans to favour a speed limit introduction, CO2 saving figures that the DUH is now predicting are significantly higher than what has been calculated in previous, similar studies.

According to the German Federal Ministry of Economics, climate change is already costing the country 6,6 billion euros per year, meaning such a cost-effective new climate policy seems like a no-brainer for Resch. Introducing a speed limit on the autobahn is also one of the main demands of Germany’s Letzte Generation climate activist group.

“The speed limit could be implemented within a few days. If you get eternal obstructionist Wissing to clear the way for the speed limit, we’ll take care of the signs,” the lobbyist added, making a gibe at transport minister Volker Wissing, who has recently come under fire for his delayed actions on the 49-euro Deutschlandticket policy.

Thumb image credit: Lutsenko_Oleksandr /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan

Editor for Germany at IamExpat Media. Olivia first came to Germany in 2013 to work as an Au Pair. Since studying English Literature and German in Scotland, Freiburg and Berlin...

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