Emis­sions rules agreed

Tough lim­its for car mak­ers


Eu­ro­pean Union law mak­ers have voted for car man­u­fac­tur­ers to cut ex­ist­ing CO2 emis­sion lev­els by 40% by 2030, and by 20% by 2025.

EU lead­ers pre­vi­ously leg­is­lated that from 2015 a 30% re­duc­tion must be achieved by 2021. The tar­gets are for a man­u­fac­turer’s fleet av­er­age, cal­cu­lated across all the mod­els they sell. The strin­gent tar­gets will ef­fec­tively re­quire them to put a ma­jor em­pha­sis on zero-emis­sion cars such as elec­tric ve­hi­cles.

The EU said th­ese tar­gets can be met through an ac­cel­er­ated pick-up of EVS and that new cars with CO2 emis­sions of 50g/km or less must make up 20% of sales by 2025 and 35% by 2030.

A pre­vi­ous fleet av­er­age tar­get of 66g/km by 2030 was widely crit­i­cised by the car in­dus­try and de­scribed by the Eu­ro­pean Au­to­mo­bile Man­u­fac­tur­ers As­so­ci­a­tion (ACEA) as “ag­gres­sive when we con­sider the low and frag­mented mar­ket pen­e­tra­tion of al­ter­na­tively pow­ered ve­hi­cles across Europe to date”.

Rap­por­teur of the EU vote Miriam Dalli, MEP, said: “Achiev­ing the Eu­ro­pean par­lia­ment’s sup­port for a 40% CO2 emis­sions tar­get by 2030 was no mean feat and I am proud of the suc­cess­ful re­sult achieved. Equally im­por­tant is the 20% emis­sions tar­get for 2025.”

The tar­gets are par­tic­u­larly chal­leng­ing be­cause of the re­cent in­tro­duc­tion of the tougher WLTP emis­sions test pro­ce­dure, which means that car firms have had to cut real-world emis­sions sim­ply to achieve the same fleet av­er­age as un­der the old NEDC test.

Dalli said: “This leg­is­la­tion goes be­yond re­duc­ing harm­ful emis­sions and pro­tect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment. It looks at set­ting the right in­cen­tives for man­u­fac­tur­ers. It en­cour­ages in­vest­ment in the in­fra­struc­ture. It pro­poses a just tran­si­tion for work­ers.”

CO2 from road trans­port – the only sec­tor across the con­ti­nent where green­house gas emis­sions are ris­ing – is of par­tic­u­lar con­cern for law mak­ers. This has been com­pounded by a grow­ing num­ber of cars on the road and the pub­lic back­lash against diesel, with a ris­ing per­cent­age of petrol car reg­is­tra­tions con­tribut­ing to in­creased CO2 emis­sions.

A to­tal of 389 MEPS to 239 voted for the leg­is­la­tion, which

has been met with scep­ti­cism from ACEA. “We re­main par­tic­u­larly con­cerned about the ex­tremely ag­gres­sive CO2 re­duc­tion tar­gets and the im­po­si­tion of sales quo­tas for bat­tery-elec­tric ve­hi­cles that MEPS have backed,” said Erik Jon­naert, its sec­re­tary gen­eral. “This vote risks hav­ing a very neg­a­tive im­pact on jobs across the au­to­mo­tive value chain. Con­sumers can­not be forced to buy elec­tric cars with­out the nec­es­sary in­fra­struc­ture or in­cen­tives in place.”

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