German government agrees to plan to cut diesel pollution

The German government backed plans to help reduce pollution from diesel vehicles. (Martin Meissner, AP)
The German government backed plans to help reduce pollution from diesel vehicles. (Martin Meissner, AP)

Germany's government says it has come up with a plan to help reduce pollution from diesel vehicles while easing the burden on consumers worried about costly upgrades.

The issue is complicated politically in a country in love with its cars and where diesels are favoured by commuters and small businesses for their generally better efficiency and lower fuel costs. At the same time the government doesn't want to damage the country's automobile industry – including manufacturers Volkswagen, Mercedes and BMW – by saddling it with too many upgrade costs.

Its hand has been forced, however, after several cities began instituting piecemeal bans on older diesels to comply with European Union clean air rules on nitrogen oxide levels.

Details on the plan were to be announced.

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