You're not going to like the reason why.
The German Autobahn has forever been associated with one key thing: a lack of speed limits. It’s where the world goes to drive fast without fear of receiving a speeding ticket. Unfortunately, times change and according to Reuters the German government is considering "a series of draft proposals on climate protection” that, if passed, could change that famous highway forever. Yes, that means potential Autobahn speed limits. What’s the world coming to? Well, the reason is climate change.
The German government organized a committee to come up with a series of recommendations to reduce environmental harm caused by transportation. Capping top speed on all sections of the Autobahn was one recommendation. Others include fuel tax hikes and electric vehicle quotas that will better help Germany meet European Union emissions targets.
Obviously none of this will go over well in Germany where cars and speed are a big part of culture and the fight against this proposal has already begun. Bloomberg reports that a German tabloid, Bild Zeitung, stated the following: "Our autobahnen (motorways) are a symbol of freedom. ‘Tested on German autobahn’ is a quality seal. There are enough speed limits.”
Fortunately, this is only a proposal for now and the German government has not adopted it and has yet to announce any specific plans to. Even those who wrote the proposal acknowledged that not every element of it will be utilized.
"Not every instrument and every measure will be accepted,” it states. "It will take political deftness, diplomatic skill, and a willingness to compromise to achieve the climate change goals.” However, the German government will have to do something soon to better reign in emissions.
According to the Paris Climate accord, Germany must decrease emissions coming from industry, farming, heating, cooling, and energy by the year 2030. Capping Autobahn speed limits is just one way of doing so but it’s by no means a cure-all. Let the fight for an unrestricted Autobahn begin.