Verheugen is reported to have made the remark at July’s meeting of the “Cars 21” high-level working group.
T&E contacted Verheu-gen’s office to verify the report. An official said he was on holiday, and wouldn’t comment on anything that was said at a Cars 21 meeting.
T&E’s Low Carbon Cars project manager Aat Peterse said: “It is important that the commissioner should make his position clear at the first opportunity. It would be deeply worrying if he had made such a statement – one that is clearly not based on technical reality, and which goes against long-established EU climate policy for cars. The 120 g/km limit clearly can be reached by 2012.”
The motor industry publication Automotive News said a Commission source had confirmed that the interim target of 140 g/km by 2008 would be missed, with CO2 emissions expected to be between 145 and 148 g/km. The paper said: “It’s pretty common knowledge within the Commission, but it’s politically incorrect to say it.”
This news story is taken from the September 2005 edition of T&E Bulletin.