A leading Green MEP has questioned whether sponsorship of the EU presidency by Audi and BMW could represent a conflict of interest. The German luxury carmakers provided free cars to EU member states that were responsible for leading policy negotiations over new carbon emissions targets.
European motorists will see their fuel bills increase by €775 over the lifetime of their cars because of weakened CO2 limits agreed today by the 28 European governments . This additional fuel consumption will cause approximately 50 million tonnes of extra CO2 emissions.
This Comment by Greg Archer was first published by EurActiv. The scandal of Germany’s heavy-handed attempts to block an agreed deal on CO2 standards for cars has sunk to new levels with news that BMW’s main shareholding family gifted €690,000 to Chancellor Merkel’s party. The badly timed donation came just a few days before she finally succeeded in pressuring Ireland and Portugal, and bribing the UK to take Germany’s side. Working in tandem with German carmakers (which used the leverage from their plants in Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary) enough votes were secured to block the deal in a heated session of the Environment Council.
In a secret session, European Union member states today delayed for the third time a vote to rubber stamp a deal to limit emissions from new cars to 95g CO2/km by 2020. This June, the European Parliament, the Commission and EU governments struck a fairly negotiated deal confirming the 95g target.
In this open letter to the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the EU, Transport & Environment and Greenpeace call on the Presidency to fulfil its role as neutral and unbiased chair, follow the wish of the vast majority of member states and the two other EU institutions, and put the agreed deal to reduce CO2 emissions from new cars to a vote.
The German government has proposed to postpone the implementation of the 95g CO2/km standard for new cars from 2020 to 2024, according to a proposal distributed to European ministers last Friday. This latest German attempt would effectively raise the 2020 target by nearly 10% to 104 g/km in 2020. It would also raise the average new car driver’ fuel bills by €138 a year as new vehicles will be less fuel efficient.
This report is the eighth T&E has published on the annual progress Europe’s major car manufacturers have made in reducing CO2 emissions and fuel consumption of new cars. As we did in previous reports, we also assess progress per EU Member State and review how official CO2 figures are translating into the ‘real world’.
Car manufacturers in Europe can free wheel their way to meeting targets to reduce CO2 emissions, Transport & Environment’s 2013 cars and CO2 report says. The report monitors the annual progress made by vehicle manufacturers to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of new cars. The data shows that both premium and mainstream carmakers are on track to hit their 2015 and 2020 targets. The report also finds carmakers do not need loopholes such as supercredits and manipulation of tests, which effectively weaken the targets, to meet their CO2 limits.
This Comment by Greg Archer was first published by European Voice.The discussion on how to lower the average new car emissions by 2020 has been acrimonious and protracted. Even though improving fuel efficiency is a no-regrets policy with multiple benefits: cheaper motoring costs; improved EU-energy security and the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs.