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Germans Choose Fuel-Guzzling SUVs, Pushing Up CO2 Emissions

Clean Energy Wire

The intensifying public debate over climate change in Germany isn’t boosting sales of low-emission cars, German energy agency dena says.

Germans are likely to buy more than a million new SUVs this year, according to a new study, published by researchers at the Duisburg-Essen University

The share of new car sales in highest efficiency category fell 5 percentage points between 2016 and 2018, to 69 percent. The biggest sales growth was in heavy, fuel-intensive SUVs and all-terrain vehicles. SUV sales in 2018 were up more than 21 percent compared to the previous year. The total number of new car registrations remained steady at 3.4 million. Overall, the average CO2 emissions of new cars was up 2 percent between 2017 and 2018, dena says. This is at odds with the government’s goal of bringing down greenhouse gasemissions across all sectors and “should give policymakers, carmakers and customers food for thought — and maybe serve as a wake-up call,” dena head Andreas Kuhlmann said. Kuhlmann said action was needed to make low-emission cars more attractive to buyers and to counter the preference for ever larger cars among customers.

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