Slow progress creates anger

The almost certain failure of Europe’s car makers to hit their 140 g/km target has angered more than just the environmental movement. The following is a letter published in the Financial Times on 18 September from an umbrella organisation promoting energy efficiency in buildings:

Sketch of some documents (default image for news

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Together with every business group, in 1998 we rejoiced when environment ministers announced agreement on improved energy efficiency targets with the motor manufacturers.

We did so because these politicians had been prepared to forego their time-honoured approaches of seeking to achieve policy goals via taxation or regulation.

But the absence of any appreciable progress means that, inevitably, the next generation of politicians will be inclined to revert to a more dirigiste approach to achieve environmental goals. Thanks to the failure of the motor manufacturers to deliver their side of the bargain, it is going to be a Sisyphean task for other industrial sectors to persuade politicians that voluntary agreements can ever deliver the environmental goods.

Andrew Warren
European Alliance of Companies for Energy Efficiency in Buildings
Brussels

This news story is taken from the October 2006 edition of T&E Bulletin.