Environmentally Friendly Motion
Green Party Wants Politicians to Swap BMWs for Bikes
Politicians in the German parliament are ferried around in a fleet of Mercedes and BMWs while on official business. The Green Party says this sets a bad example: They want politicians to trade in their luxury sedans for less polluting cars -- and bikes.
One of the commonest stereotypes about Germany is that the Germans love their cars. As the representatives of the people, the country's politicans are probably no exception.
Those with seats in the German parliament, the Bundestag, enjoy the privilege of having a fleet of chauffered Mercedes and BMWs to drive them around on official business. However, that could soon change if the parliamentary group of Germany's Green Party gets its way.
Green politicians are planning to call on members of the Bundestag to trade in their luxury sedans for smaller and more environmentally friendly cars -- or even bicycles.
After Easter, the party plans to propose that the parliament's fleet of large sedans is swapped for compact cars, which emit on average a mere 140 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer. "The cars in the Bundestag's official fleet consume far too much fuel, create too high emissions and do not conform with our goals to prevent climate change," Winfried Hermann, the Greens' transport spokesman, wrote in a paper seen by SPIEGEL.
Hermann would also like politicians to make more use of bicycles. He wants members of parliament to be allowed to use rental bikes belonging to Deutsche Bahn, Germany's national rail operator. The bicycles are available in several German cities as part of a Deutsche Bahn scheme and can be rented by individuals for short periods of time.
"It's just embarassing when all parties preach climate protection and then drive around Berlin in fat luxury cars," Hermann said.