Merkel under pressure to tackle toxic smog as German election nears

Chancellor doubles funds set aside to improve air quality to avert court-enforced diesel ban and backlash from motorists

With less than three weeks until the German elections, pressure is mounting on Angela Merkel to tackle the deadly smog in a large number of cities or face a court-enforced diesel ban and backlash from millions of motorists faced with plummeting resale values.

More than 90 cities with excessive levels of nitrogen dioxide pollution could potentially outlaw diesel cars from their centres when the country’s federal administrative court rules early next year.

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