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Netherlands tops EU ranking of lowest CO₂ emissions from new cars – Germany and Poland the laggards

Green Car Tax rating highlights EU countries with the most and least supportive tax arrangements to encourage low-carbon, fuel efficient cars. Initial registration taxes (purchase taxes) and company car taxes that are steeply differentiated by CO₂ boost the purchase of lower-emissions cars in the Netherlands, Denmark and France.

CO2 emissions from new cars in Europe: Country Ranking in 2013

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This report is part of the eighth annual report T&E has published on progress in reducing CO2 emissions and improving the fuel efficiency of cars. This document focuses on average new car emissions in different Member States and highlights the effectiveness (or otherwise) of their different taxation policies in encouraging the purchase of lower carbon cars.The principal responsibility to reduce CO₂ in line with the Regulation falls upon the carmakers. Each carmaker has a target for the CO2 emissions of the new cars it sells in 2015 and 2020/1. However, there is much that Member States can do to help (or hinder) progress through the policies that they adopt nationally. Substantial differences in the rate of progress of companies are mirrored by the Member States, principally because of differences in the ways cars are taxed across the EU. While some countries have made conspicuous efforts to improve the fuel economy of their new cars, others have done very little to support the aims of the cars and CO₂ legislation.In 2013, the top six best performing countries all achieved annual emissions reductions of new cars of more than 5% (Netherlands, Greece, Slovenia, France, Finland and Bulgaria). In contrast the laggards, including Sweden and Poland, achieved less than 2.5% improvement in average CO₂ emissions from 2012. Countries with low average emissions typically have initial registration taxes (purchase taxes) and company car taxes that are steeply differentiated by CO₂. Annual circulation taxes are a modest driver of fuel efficiency even if they are graduated according to CO2 emissions, and high fuel taxes alone have a limited influence on the efficiency of the cars being bought – but do impact on the overall level of car use and fuel consumption.Low levels of diesel tax encourage higher proportions of diesel car sales and more vehicle use. Fuel should be taxed on the basis of its energy content with similar rates of excise duty applied to gasoline and diesel fuels to avoid market distortions leading to dieselisation.To see a sample analysis of the performances of six Member States, download the factsheets here:DenmarkFranceGermanyNetherlandsSwedenUnited Kingdom

Mercedes ranks No 1 in Europe’s list of fuel economy cheaters – report

If your new Mercedes car swallows 40% more fuel than the brochure promised, it’s not due to your heavy-footed driving. Rather it’s because Mercedes are the current leaders at manipulating the way vehicles are tested, producing official fuel economy figures in the labs that cannot be replicated in the real world. That’s the findings of Transport & Environment’s (T&E) 2014 Mind the Gap report, which analyses real-world fuel consumption by motorists that highlights the abuses by carmakers of the current tests and the failure of EU regulators to close loopholes.

2014 Mind the Gap report: manipulation of fuel economy test results by carmakers

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This paper details how the current system of testing cars to measure fuel economy and CO2 emissions is not fit for purpose. The gap between test results and real-world performance has become a chasm, increasing from 8% in 2001 to 31% in 2013 for private motorists. Mercedes cars have the biggest gap between test and real world performance, and less than 20% of the improvement in emissions measured in tests of Opel/Vauxhall cars is realised on the road.

Modest climate and energy targets won’t cut it

EU governments last week agreed three modest targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions, increase the share of renewable energy and improve energy efficiency by 2030. Environmental groups said the goals would not do enough to cut Europe’s dependence on fossil fuels and put it on track to meet its own 2050 climate pledges.

CO2 standards behind 'profound change' in Ireland's vehicle efficiency

Ireland’s car taxation on carbon dioxide emissions has caused ‘a profound change’ in the new car fleet, according to data published by the country’s sustainable energy authority, SEAI. However, the positive news is tempered by further evidence of the widening gap between car test results for CO2 emissions and their real-world performance.

Climate and energy targets finally agreed, but what does it mean for transport?

Last week, the European Council composed of heads of states and governments reached an agreement on the EU’s climate and energy targets for post-2020. We ended up with three targets: greenhouse gas reductions of at least 40% with binding national targets; a 27% target for renewable energy; and a non-binding 27% target for energy efficiency. The deal is fraught with “flexibilities”, and includes significant money transfers to poorer and coal-dependent EU countries. But what does this deal mean for transport?

Putting transport in the ETS will hinder job growth, stall emissions cuts – study

Even if carbon prices in Europe’s emissions trading system (ETS) trebled from today’s levels [1], including road transport in the ETS would only reduce oil use and CO2 emissions from transport by 3% over the next 15 years, a new study by Cambridge Econometrics reveals. This level is insufficient for road transport to make a proportionate contribution to Europe’s climate and energy security goals.

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