Press Release

German political muscle used to delay vote on 2020 car emissions limits

June 27, 2013

Representatives of EU Member States today delayed the vote on a deal that would have limited average car fleet emissions to 95g of CO2 per kilometre from 2020. Earlier this week, the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Irish Presidency of the European Council had reached an agreement, which was on the agenda of today’s meeting for endorsement by Member States.

The last-minute delay was fiercely pushed by Germany over concerns that the 2020 CO2 target would harm the country’s luxury carmakers. Germany opposes this deal but does not have sufficient support to defeat the agreement at present, and has instead delayed the vote to gather more support – including from Croatia, who will join the EU next month. Other countries, including the Netherlands and the UK supported the German calls for a delay.

Reacting to this decision, Greg Archer of T&E said: “It’s unprecedented in EU environmental policymaking that the pressure of one country delays a vote in an attempt to overturn a fairly-negotiated agreement between the European Parliament, the Commission and the Council itself. It is ludicrous for Germany to claim it needs more time, as the 95g target was agreed five years ago and Germany has already put forward five different proposals that have been rejected by the vast majority of EU countries. We urge the other 26 Member States to stand firm against the narrow, short-term interests of some German carmakers and endorse the deal struck last Monday that will ultimately benefit drivers, the sluggish EU economy and our environment.”

Most carmakers have virtually met their 2015 target and are on the right pathway to meet the 95g target in 2020.