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Van CO2 emissions

MEPs vote to weaken proposed EU rules on limiting CO2 emissions from vans

The European Parliament environment committee today voted on proposed new EU legislation to limit CO2 emissions from light commercial vehicles (vans). Green MEPs criticised the vote, which weakened an already weak proposal from the European Commission in a number of key areas. After the vote, Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms (Green shadow on the legislation) said:

"Today's vote is a setback for EU climate policy and for reducing the climate-damaging emissions from transport. A centre-right coalition of EPP and Liberal MEPs have voted to weaken an already weak proposal from the EU Commission aimed at limiting CO2 emissions from vans (1), the only EU climate legislation currently in the legislative pipeline.

"It is seriously regrettable that MEPs have voted for weaker long-term limits on CO2 emissions from light vehicles and failed to make the short-term limits more ambitious (2). To add insult to injury, centre-right MEPs also voted for weaker penalties for failure to comply with the emissions limits (3).

"All the evidence shows that more ambitious emissions limits would not only be technically feasible but would also play a key role in stimulating innovation towards more efficient vehicles. By capitulating to the demands of auto-industry laggards, EPP and Liberal MEPs are voting against the interests of consumers and small businesses, as well as the environment."

(1) 35 votes in favour, 25 against and 2 abstentions.

(2) MEPs voted to weaken the long-term emission limit for new vans – the Commission had proposed a limit of 135 g/km in 2020 but the environment committee voted for a 140g/km limit. They also failed to improve on the unambitious short-term emissions target proposed by the Commission of 175 g/km to be phased in from 2014-16.

(3) MEPs voted for penalties of €95 per gram instead of €120 as proposed by the European Commission.

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