POSITION PAPER: Low carbon cars – good for drivers, good for economy, good for the environment

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Cars are responsible for approaching a fifth of Europe’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The amount of CO2 produced is directly related to the amount of fuel the vehicle consumes – lower carbon vehicles are therefore more fuel efficient and cheaper to run. Lower fuel costs for drivers boost consumer spending in other areas creating jobs.

In 2009, the EU set legally-binding targets for new cars to emit 130 grams of CO2 per kilometer (g/km) by 2015 and 95g/km in 2020. In July, the Commission announced the outcome of its review of the modalities (ways) of achieving the 2020 target. Its proposal confirms the 95g/km target but outlines a series of unnecessary flexibilities that weaken the target leading to less efficient vehicles being sold. The benefits from the regulation would have been even greater had the Commission shown more ambition; this paper outlines how and the benefits that would result.

T&E Member RAC (Réseau Action Climat) also published a position paper in French on this topic. See here.