• Civil society opposes ACEA’s call to delay vehicle pollution norms – letter

    In yet another attempt to weaken the application of pollution norms for cars, vans and trucks, Europe's powerful car lobby ACEA (the European Automobile Manufacturers Association) wrote to the EU Industry Commissioner to demand a six-month postponement of the newest vehicle emissions legislation. In a letter dated 18 June 2020, ACEA's President and CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Mike Manley argued that the the shutdown of production and sales due to COVID‐19 had caused a significant build‐up of stocks and that a postponement of the application dates of the forthcoming pollutant regulations would be an 'objectively justified, proportionate and pragmatic response to an unfortunate situation'.

    Health, consumer and green groups were alarmed by these demands and wrote to the Commission opposing the harmful delay. They insisted that the pandemic cannot be used as a pretext to delay the enforcement of emissions standards that were set more than 10 years ago and the introduction of which had been spread over seven years. Moreover, the needed technology to curb emissions had long been available. Yet again weakening the enforcement of air pollution laws would not be the appropriate answer to the current health and economic crisis and would stand in stark contradiction to the letter and spirit of the European Green Deal and its zero pollution ambition, the joint letter read. Instead of weakening emission rules, there are good alternatives to support the economy and consumers while cleaning up the air Europeans breathe. In the interest of public health, consumer rights, environmental protection and fair competition, the civil society organisations asked Commissioner Breton to maintain the current timeline for emissions legislation.