BERLIN (Reuters) - Volkswagen's <VOWG_p.DE> emissions cheating scandal could force German carmakers to come up with new and better ways to build more climate-friendly vehicles, a senior government official said on Wednesday.
Deputy Environment Minister Jochen Flasbarth said he did not believe the scandal had damaged Germany's image as a leader in environmental protection ahead of a U.N. climate summit in Paris in December.
Climate talks in recent weeks had not been negatively impacted by the revelations that Volkswagen had installed software to rig diesel emissions tests, he told reporters.
"I expect that German carmakers, especially in the current environment, have little desire to break European laws," he said. "If this doesn't work with diesel, then they will have to do it a different way."
Flasbarth drew a line between the Volkswagen scandal in particular and Germany's green credentials in general.
"This is a dramatic case and it's not good for us but I believe that you can differentiate between irresponsible action in a company and the general climate policy course that Germany is following," he said.
(Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Tom Heneghan)