An agreement reached yesterday means quieter road vehicles won’t be introduced for another 15 years. Transport & Environment (T&E) believes the deal crafted last night by the Commission, European Parliament and Member States is disgraceful, prioritizing the wishes of the car industry over the health of EU citizens. It means decades of delay for a quieter, healthier Europe.
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.
It is not often that European environmental policy stories end up on front pages of newspapers, so when it happens, you can be sure there is more to it than just EU environmental policy.
Traffic noise is the second-biggest environmental factor affecting Europeans’ health after air pollution. Almost half of EU citizens are regularly exposed to road traffic noise over the level that the World Health Organisation considers to pose a serious risk to health. Noise pollution has been linked to 50,000 fatal heart attacks every year in Europe. This briefing outlines the European Commission, Parliament and Council positions on a proposal for new vehicle noise standards ahead of a third round of trilogue negotiations on 5 November, 2013. It also outlines T&E's analysis of the main issues as well as its recommendations for a compromise that avoids legal and technical loopholes.
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.
Interested in this kind of news?
Receive them directly in your email box. Delivered once a week.
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.