Germany blocks vote on agreed CO2 limit for cars – again

In a secret session, European Union member states today delayed for the third time a vote to rubber stamp a deal to limit emissions from new cars to 95g CO2/km by 2020. This June, the European Parliament, the Commission and EU governments struck a fairly negotiated deal confirming the 95g target.

Germany wants its luxury carmakers to be allowed to keep selling even more gas-guzzling cars for another decade, despite all the evidence showing that 95g/km by 2020 is technically feasible and pays for itself within 2 to 3 years.
 
Now Germany has been granted a third consecutive delay by the Lithuanian presidency of the EU. Germany reportedly said that it would be ready to vote “when we have reliable signs that there is enough support for our proposal”. This blatant abuse of EU democratic processes is intended to give a competitive advantage to BMW and Daimler, who already receive much higher targets than mainstream carmakers, are making record profits, and pride themselves on engineering excellence. 
 
Commenting on the decision, Greg Archer, clean vehicles manager of Transport & Environment, said: “It’s totally inexcusable and undemocratic that Germany has been able to delay the vote as many times as needed to garner enough support to block the deal. The Council must make a decision and soon. Either it ratifies the deal that has been welcomed by drivers, auto suppliers and the vast majority of EU countries, or it scuppers the plan and reopens negotiations with the Parliament. If a new deal has to be struck, the Parliament should insist on its 2025 target of 68g of carbon dioxide per kilometre.”
 
Germany has exerted massive pressure on other European countries particularly those with significant German-owned car-manufacturing facilities to support its position. The tactics have achieved some success today with Germany’s allies [1] securing sufficient support to potentially undo the agreed deal. The decision has now been passed to European environment ministers that meet on 14 October. They will discuss Europe’s position on the 2015 UN Conference on Climate Change and will debate the delayed deal. They will also approve the deal on vans that was ratified today. 
 
“In a month’s time the EU will go to the UN climate negotiations and will undoubtedly call upon their global partners again to show ambition and tackle climate change. The rest of the world is watching Europe and what it is doing on car CO2 emissions. Reducing the ambition of the car CO2 standards to American levels would deal a fatal blow to the credibility of the EU,” Greg Archer added. 
 
According to the latest annual report by T&E, four car manufacturers have already achieved the 130g CO2/km limit for 2015 and most of them are well on track to meet the 95g target for 2020.
 
Footnotes: 
[1] Germany was supported in calling for a further delay by Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Estonia, Portugal, Poland, and the UK.

Contact the press team

Nico Muzi
Communications Director
+32 (0)484 27 87 91 
nico.muzi@transportenvironment.org

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