Progress on strict car emission limits offer EU good news

The EU Environment Committee has approved a draft law to tighten the emission regulations on light vehicles.

The current limit on new cars of 130g will be reinforced to 95g by 2020 under proposed legislation.

The Committee vote saw 47 back the motion with 17 against and one abstention. The popular support for the proposal offers some rare good news for the EU’s climate change ambition.

Last week’s vote against reforms to the bloc’s carbon market dented both the carbon price and the EU’s reputation as a climate leader.

New draft EU legislation will limit the average emissions of new cars to 95g per km (Source: EU)

The 95g target, which is an average across a manufacturer’s entire fleet, could be further tightened to between 68g and 78g according to indicative figures included in the plans.

The plan will now be negotiated with EU Ministers on its next step towards adoption.

Car manufacturers warned prior to the vote that the figures involved must be led by science rather than being politically motivated.

“It is essential that any post-2020 targets are based on an independent impact assessment. They must not be purely political figures,” said Ivan Hodac, Secretary General of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA). “Unfortunately it seems that the European Parliament is moving in this direction.”

The ACEA’s members include BMW, Renault and the European operations of GM, Toyota and Ford.

Hodac added that if new targets did not have a solid scientific backing it would be a breach of the conditions set out in a European Commission pledge to the industry.

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