• Carmakers could face legislation on climate

    An official monitoring report to be published tomorrow (Tuesday 29 August) by the European Commission says that carmakers must "substantially increase their efforts" in reducing carbon dioxide emissions from new vehicles or they could face legislative measures.


    Three car industry associations committed to the EU in 1998/9 to reduce CO2 emissions from new vehicles to an average of 140g/km by 2008/9.

    The report (1) into progress made during 2004 under the terms of the commitment states that the European and Japanese industry associations (ACEA and JAMA) “were not able to provide firmer assurances than in previous years” that the 140g/km target will be met “despite the commitment period drawing to an end”. In order to achieve the target, the Commission says that all three associations will “have to substantially increase their efforts”.

    The conclusions of the report also note for the first time that the Commission is considering a legally-binding follow-up to the commitment.

    Jos Dings of T&E said, “The one piece of good news in the Commission report is the acknowledgement that legally-binding options to reduce emissions are now on the table. The existing voluntary commitment with carmaker associations lacks transparency and fails to punish poor performance or reward progress. It’s important that any future legislative proposal holds individual carmakers to account, gives incentives to cut emissions and punishes those that fail.”

    T&E’s own analysis of the progress of the commitment, based on industry data, also covers last year (2005) and shows that carmakers are even further off track than the official report for 2004 shows. See T&E background briefing.

    According to T&E, for the remaining 3 or 4 years, carmakers will have to reduce the CO2 emissions and fuel consumption of their products at an annual rate of 4 to 5 per cent. This is unprecedented and 3 to 4 times the rate of reduction achieved in previous years.

    (1) Implementing the Community Strategy to Reduce CO2 Emissions from Cars:
    Sixth annual Communication on the effectiveness of the strategy COM(2006) 463