Germany delays EU car emissions deal for third time

Germany is putting pressure on countries with significant German-owned car manufacturing facilities

(Pic: Flickr\Tesla Autobots)

By Nilima Choudhury

Germany has delayed a vote to rubber stamp a deal to limit emissions from new cars by 2020 for a third time.

In a secret session on Friday, the Lithuanian Presidency agreed to postpone legislation agreed in June which sets a new target of 95g CO2/km by 2020.

Germany is reportedly exerting “massive pressure” on member states to slow the new emission limits.

Liberal Democrat MEP and environment spokesman Chris Davies, who is part of the negotiating team on this issue, says this is purely about protecting manufacturers like BMW and Daimler.

“This is legislation that would require cars to do more miles to the gallon and it is good for the environment, good for drivers and good for the UK car industry,” he said.

“A deal was negotiated in good faith between the Parliament and Ministers and now Germany wants to wriggle out of it. Britain should not be going along with that sort of sharp practice.”

Last week RTCC reported Germany was holding up talks, three months after Chancellor Angela Merkel and UK Prime Minister David Cameron colluded to block the EU’s first attempt to drive the laws through.

The decision has now been passed to European Environment Ministers that meet on 14 October.

They are also expected to approve an emissions deal on vans that was ratified today, and discuss Europe’s position ahead of the 2015 UN Conference on Climate Change.

If the European Council agrees to weaken the deal then there will be a second reading when Parliament can reintroduce its proposals for 2025 targets and the strengthened testing of vehicles.

“It’s totally inexcusable and undemocratic that Germany has been able to delay the vote as many times as needed to garner enough support to block the deal,” said Greg Archer from the Brussels NGO Transport & Environment.

“The Council must make a decision and soon. Either it ratifies the deal that has been welcomed by drivers, auto suppliers and the vast majority of EU countries, or it scuppers the plan and reopens negotiations with the Parliament. If a new deal has to be struck, the Parliament should insist on its 2025 target of 68g of carbon dioxide per kilometre.”

Last month, BMW was recognised by market research company Frost & Sullivan as a sustainable and innovative auto manufacturer, with Daimler a very close second.

But a recent report by Brussels-based International Council on Clean Transportation pointed the finger at BMW and Daimler, which appear to be taking advantage of loopholes in EU emissions cap legislation by presenting artificially low carbon emissions to consumers.

The report said: “The improvements reported by BMW, Daimler and General Motors appear to be primarily attributable to the flexibilities in the testing procedure, with real world improvements in fuel economy likely to be far less than those reported on the basis of vehicle tests.”

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