The European Commission appears to be siding with car manufacturers in its assessment of the impacts of the planned European C02 regulation for cars and light commercial vehicles, in a report published today. Such a blatant attempt to exert political influence before the European Parliament casts its vote on the file in plenary on 3 October is unusual to say the least.
Bas Eickhout, energy policy spokesperson for the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament and coordinator in the ENVI Committee, has criticised the EU Commission's lobbying in support of car manufacturers:
"The Commission's active lobbying work against ambitious CO2 standards for cars clearly contradicts the EU's commitment to the Paris climate targets and is an outrageous move we have not seen before.
“Even though this is clearly a politically steered report from the Commission, designed to influence votes in the Parliament and Council, it still finds that employment numbers in the entire EU will increase with more ambitious reduction targets. These undeniably positive impacts for job creation show how important it is to push the EU car industry to green technologies now.
“European manufacturers are already investing seven times more in electric vehicles in China than in the EU. Chinese car manufacturers are laughing all the way to the bank. If the EU does not focus on electric mobility and zero-emissions transport, companies outside the EU will reap all the benefits.”
Next Wednesday, 3 October MEPs will vote on the European Parliament's position, followed by negotiations with the Council and the Commission (trilogue). The European Commission is expected to present its strategy for a low-carbon economy by 2050 at the end of November.
Link to the Commission's study: Non-paper on Cars/Vans CO2 Regulation proposal