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Page added on November 29, 2008

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Germans Split Over ”Climate-Friendly” Big Cars

Car-buyers are being tugged two ways in a German debate over carbon-dioxide emissions: Should they buy cars for the fast lane, or downsize to smaller cars more suited to the slow lane of German autobahns?

The dilemma came to a head when Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government debated an economic stimulus package in October.

With global talks on a new climate-saving pact due next week in Poland, the dispute underlined the conflict between ecology and the economy.

The trouble is, cars are one of Germany’s main exports.

The cars that the world — and many Germans — want to buy from Germany are not small fuel sippers, but big, strong cars that eat up the kilometers and keep occupants in a steel cocoon of safety.

Despite localized speed limits and widespread congestion, there are still plenty of no-limit sections on German autobahns where the usual cruising speed in the fast lane is 160 kilometers per hour (100 mph) or more.

Deutsche Welle



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