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Car CO2 emissions

Missed opportunity to back ambitious targets and better consumer information


The European parliament and European Council, meeting yesterday in trialogue, came to an agreement on a legislative proposal on CO2 emissions limits for vehicles for 2020. The proposal fixes the steps necessary to implement a fleet average for car CO2 emissions of 95g of CO2 per km by 2020. The legislators also signalled a further annual reduction in CO2 emissions of 4-6% per year for the period 2020-2025. The Greens regret however that the agreement contains a number of loopholes and also fails to set out a binding target for 2025. Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms stated:

"While I welcome a future decision on a target for 2025 and the agreement on CO2 emissions reductions of 4-6% per year for the period 2020-2025, I regret that there was no support for an immediate and binding target for 2025. The Parliament supported a target within a range of 68-78g CO2/km for 2025 but was unable to prevail against the Council. The agreement will not ensure the highest possible benefit to consumers or adequately address climate change. It will also fail to truly spur carmakers to bring the most efficient and least polluting cars to the market. Cleaner, more fuel-efficient cars are clearly in the interest of consumers, particularly at a time of economic difficulty.

"In addition to this, the agreement recognises the problem of consumer deception as regards manufacturers' claims on fuel consumption and actual performance. However, improvements will depend on future action from the Commission.

"These proposals go some way towards tackling CO2 emissions and the growing problem of air quality, but ultimately the automobile lobby was successful in preventing a binding target and slowing the possible development of ambitious new technologies. Unfortunately, the European car industry continues to view climate protection and competitiveness as mutually exclusive rather than complementary."