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The majority of deputies from the EU’s elected chamber comprehensively rejected the European Commission’s inadequate proposal of a 30% cut in 2030 compared to 2021 emission levels. Parliamentarians show they are more serious than the Commission about meeting the EU’s climate targets and creating investment certainty for battery and hydrogen vehicles in Europe by supporting a sales target of 20% in 2025 and 35% in 2030. This incentive for selling EVs comes with penalties for failing to meet the sales targets, a key policy instrument the Commission dropped from its proposal after last-minute lobbying by German carmakers.
Julia Poliscanova, clean vehicles manager with T&E, said: “Despite an unprecedented lobby effort by the oil and car industries, the European Parliament has voted decisively to require carmakers to make their cars cleaner and sell more electric and hydrogen vehicles. This vote is good news for the climate, for jobs in Europe and for the millions of Europeans who will start to enjoy cleaner air in their cities."
MEPs also voted in favour of introducing real-world checks on emissions from cars and vans to stop manufacturers cheating tests. Following the recent discovery that carmakers are already finding ways to manipulate the results of the new WLTP laboratory test, MEPs have sent a clear message that regulators expect emissions cuts to be delivered on the road as well as in the laboratory.
The EU Parliament rejected the double counting of biofuels and other alternative fuels in the regulation that are already promoted through the recently adopted Renewable Energy Directive. MEPs also binned the idea of over-rewarding plug-in hybrids, which often emit three times more on the road than in the lab – as the recent case of Audi exemplifies.
EU member states are expected to finalise their position on the law at the Environment Council on 9 October, where 19 European countries support a 2030 CO2 reduction target of at least 40%. Inter-institutional negotiations will follow and a final deal is expected by early 2019, ensuring the law is confirmed before the next European elections.
Julia Poliscanova added: “A clear majority of EU governments supports Parliament’s decision to accelerate the transition to clean and electric mobility. Only Germany, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria oppose higher ambition. We shouldn’t allow Germany to hold an entire continent to ransom over its failed diesel strategy. Ministers should approve Parliament’s decision next Tuesday.”