Press Release

Euro 7 pollution standards for cars “effectively killed off” by Spanish EU Presidency proposals

September 20, 2023

On Wednesday 20 September, Coreper (the committee representing the EU member states) will discuss another draft text on the Euro 7 vehicle pollution standards presented by the Spanish Presidency, with a vote on the text expected in the European Council on the 25th of September.

Air pollution in European cities is appalling and continues to exceed World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines. Overall in Europe around 400,000 premature deaths per year and a wide range of serious illnesses including heart disease, lung disease and cancer are caused by air pollution. While European’s breathe filthy air from polluting petrol and diesel cars, vans and trucks, Europe’s car industry has lobbied intensively against better and more stringent emissions standards proposed by the European Commission. This is despite new stricter Ambient Air Quality Guidelines for pollution being adopted by the European Parliament just last week.

“This proposal is a disaster for air pollution in Europe’s cities.The Commission should think whether or not they even want this joke of a regulation to be adopted. By caving into automaker threats, our politicians are condemning  people to avoidable ill health and  premature death for decades to come. It gives carmakers a license to greenwash polluting Euro 6 cars as ‘clean’ Euro 7 without delivering any added reduction in toxic tailpipe pollution. Cars approved under such a weak proposal should not be labeled as Euro 7. Instead, they should be labeled as Euro 6f to reflect only the minor improvements to emissions monitoring, anti-tampering measures and non-exhaust emissions.” – Anna Krajinska, Manager, Vehicle Emissions and Air Quality 

 Compared to the Commission’s draft, in this new proposal by the Spanish Presidency:

  • Emission limits for cars have been weakened. No change in emission limits for cars and vans compared to Euro 6, even for diesel which is allowed to emit more NOx pollution than petrol. Cold start limits which are critical for reducing pollution limits in cities have also been scrapped. 
  • Ammonia (which contributes to deadly PM2.5 particle pollution) for cars have also been scrapped. 
  • Limits for trucks have been severely weakened with emission limits to reduce pollution in cities (cold start and 3xWHTC limits) scrapped. The limits are weaker than those set in the U.S.
  • No improvement in on-road testing conditions for cars compared to Euro 6, meaning that cars will be able to continue to exceed emission limits when driving in cities, in hilly regions and cold and hot weather. 
  • No improvement in on-road testing for trucks which have been scrapped. Trucks will be able to continue to emit large amounts of pollution in cities. 
  • Entry into force of particle pollution limits for new car tyres is set at 4 years and for tyres already placed on the market an additional 2.5 years is given. This means that all tyres on the market will not respect the tyre pollution limits until 2030 at the earliest.
  • Cars will be able to drive 2000 km while grossly polluting more than 2.5 times the emission limits before the engine is prevented from starting. 

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