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  • Letter to MEPs call on support objection to emissions test in plenary tomorrow

    Interested in this kind of news? Receive them directly in your inbox. Delivered once a week. Sign Up Dear MEP Ahead of tomorrow’s vote on the Real-world Driving Emission (RDE) objection, Transport & Environment is calling on you to support the objection

    Dear MEP

    Ahead of tomorrow’s vote on the Real-world Driving Emission (RDE) objection, Transport & Environment is calling on you to support the objection of the Environment Committee and veto the unlawful RDE agreement reached between Council and Commission in October 2015.

    Despite extensive negotiations the Commission and the Member States have failed to alleviate the concerns of the Parliament and many other stakeholders such as cities, health groups and environmentalists. If left as agreed last year, the RDE act will effectively raise the Euro 6 limits for diesel NOx (that set in 2007) through the implementing regulations. This will undermine ongoing efforts to clean up Europe’s air and improve public health.

    In October 2015, the Technical Committee on Motor Vehicles (TCMV) voted to allow Euro 6 diesel cars to emit over double the Euro 6 limit from 2017 to 2020, and 50% more after 2020. This would result in new diesel cars emitting up to 120 mg/km of NOx instead of the 80mg limit agreed almost a decade ago. Parliament must prevent political deals between the Council and Commission being used to undermine legal limits through the backdoor of comitology.

    This proposal clearly exceeds the powers of implementing legislation and is therefore illegal.  This implementing regulation only allows for an agreed uncertainty in the testing procedure (that the Commission, based upon analysis by its Joint Research Centre, states is 20%). The  political decision to raise the limit to 50%, and more in the short term, therefore goes beyond the powers allowed in the Euro 6 regulation.

    T&E appreciates the considerable efforts of the Commission to strike a compromise and offer to assess the test measurement uncertainty and review the long-term conformity factor in 2017. However, Council has shown no willingness to allow this to be conducted through delegated powers to ensure the outcome of the review is based upon a technical assessment. Without such a commitment from Council the Commission will be unable to revise the conformity factors irrespective of the outcome.

    A lower conformity factor will reduce diesel NOx emissions that are responsible for the widespread exceedances of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) limits across Europe and cause 72,000 premature deaths each year. Currently the Commission is taking legal action against 17 EU member states for failure to reach ambient air pollution limits, including the widespread NO2 exceedances in heavily trafficked locations. Many cities and regions need effective Euro 6 to achieve air pollution standards. This will reduce the massive health and costs burden being imposed by polluted air, estimated to cause over 500,000 premature deaths and costing between €330 and €940 billion annually.

    We call on you to support the Environment Committee and reject the RDE implementing measure in your vote on 3 February 2016. This would send a clear message to Member States to negotiate seriously. With willingness from all co-decision makers a better agreement could be finalized in spring 2016. MEPs should show their resolve and make it clear to the Council that they will not allow European laws to be rewritten through the backdoor.

    Yours Sincerely

    Julia Poliscanova