Is 120 g/km by 2012 ‘impossible’?

The EU industry commissioner Günter Verheugen (pictured), is said to believe the target of reducing average carbon dioxide emissions from new cars to 120 grams per kilometre by 2012 is “impossible”.

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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.