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The 'car chancellor’ should consider drivers and the environment too

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.

German ‘dirty deals’ kill off 2020 cars CO2 agreement

The EU’s agreement on limiting carbon dioxide from new cars from 2020 has fallen through. EU environment ministers voted to reopen negotiations on the deal that was agreed in June, following a massive lobbying operation by the German government on behalf of Germany’s luxury car industry. T&E says this lobbying to protect German luxury car makers is an unprecedented abuse of the EU legislative process.

Germany blocks vote on agreed CO2 limit for cars – again

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.

Open letter to the Lithuanian Presidency of the EU calling on the deal on CO2 emissions from cars to be put to a vote

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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.

Germany pushes to delay agreed CO2 limit for cars by four years

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.

Effect of the German phase-in proposal to the 2020 target

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Cars are responsible for an eighth of Europe’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.  The amount of CO2 produced is directly related to the amount of fuel the vehicle consumes – lower carbon vehicles are therefore more fuel efficient and cheaper to run.

German proposal to weaken 95g cars CO2 law for 2020

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The following leaked document is being circulated by Germany in order to try and persuade other EU countries to delay, by up to 4 years, the agreed car fuel efficiency standards of 95 g for 2020. This would result in a weakening of 9g and make any 2025 target impossible.

Merkel fights German carmakers’ battle

Germany’s luxury carmakers are raising the stakes in their battle to weaken EU legislation that will set fuel consumption limits for new cars made after 2020. The German chancellor Angela Merkel used a speech at this month’s Frankfurt motor show to say that strict limits would damage European carmakers’ competitiveness in global markets. Yet T&E’s eighth annual Cars & CO2 report shows that EU legislation is speeding up improvements to fuel efficiency, which in turn leads to drivers saving money at the fuel pump.

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